Tell it to SunStar: On education chief’s resignation

By Renester P. Suralta
Tell it to SunStar: On education chief’s resignation
SunStar Tell it

The unexpected resignation of Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio as Education Secretary has elicited surprise and concern within the education sector. Contrary to speculations that she would announce her resignation after the President’s State of the Nation Address on July 22, 2024, the announcement came earlier than anticipated.

The reason behind her resignation remains vague, leading to various speculations. Was it influenced by the escalating tensions between President Marcos and former President Duterte, or did personal considerations drive it? Alternatively, could it be part of a broader strategic approach in preparation for next year’s upcoming midterm elections?

The impact of her resignation on the programs and policies she initiated at the Department of Education (DepEd) raises questions. Will it set the agency on a new trajectory, or will it leave it uncertain? Will the future DepEd secretary choose to continue her discontinued programs and projects?

Among the key educational reforms she championed is the Matatag Program, scheduled for implementation in the upcoming school year. The Matatag initiative aims to make the curriculum relevant to produce competent, job-ready, active and responsible citizens; expedite the delivery of basic education facilities and services; promote learner well-being, inclusive education and a positive learning environment; and provide support to teachers to enhance their instructional methods.

Another significant policy she implemented is the Immediate Removal of Administrative Tasks of Public School Teachers (DO 02 S. 2024), which received positive feedback from many teachers.

Furthermore, DepEd Order 21, the 2023 Brigada Eskwela Implementing Guidelines, mandates that schools maintain cleanliness and avoid unnecessary artwork, decorations, tarpaulins, and posters, leading to diverse reactions from teachers.

An important and well-received measure is the mandatory 30-day uninterrupted vacation for teachers in June 2024.

Following VP Sara’s departure from office, the future of the initiatives she launched remains uncertain. They may face abandonment, or the forthcoming department secretary may opt to uphold her endeavors to ensure meaningful progress and prevent the misuse of government resources.

The DepEd deserves effective management and a steadfast commitment to achieve its long-term objectives of providing quality education in the 21st century.

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