HOPEFULLY, whoever will be elected to the Palace in May would heartily and seriously share the preoccupation of current educators in government to make accessible to our nation’s youth quality basic education, which is now the focus of the United Nations.

The UN has set universal access to quality basic education as a goal to be attained in 2015.

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This particular goal is reportedly only one of the six components of “Education for All” (EFA) goal set by Unesco.

The time frame is what the secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) openly admitted as a tough target to achieve.

The problem, it seems, is being compounded by the archipelagic nature of our country.

The other components are early childhood care and education, increasing adult literacy by 50 percent, improving the quality of education, achieving gender equality, and providing learning and life skill to young people.


While some critics agree to our having made great strides in basic education due to the reforms that have been introduced, still the 100 percent universal primary education goal might be beyond reach.

With 2015 as the date for countries to hit the target, the education secretary could only assure 95 percent.

He is in fact trying to improve five years hence the current 87 percent to 95 percent participation by focusing DepEd resources and efforts on addressing the high dropout rates in the elementary level, especially Grade 3.

On the matter of dropouts, the rate in the Grade 3 level has reached more than 20 percent.

What about in the other grades?


Some 3,000 schools in the country were identified a couple of years ago as “low-performing.”

Thus, DepEd is said to be preparing a program to enhance “early childhood schooling” through the giving of more resources.

What appears laudable with our education leaders is their forthright acceptance of their shortcomings.

Thus, what is most needed now is the overall support by our government’s executive and legislative branches to enable DepEd officials to overcome, even if only partially, the challenge of UN’s 2015 target of 100 percent participation in its ambitious EFA goals.