Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored that pending reforms to the country's basic and secondary education system should focus on boosting the country's capacity for science and technology (S&T).
In his speech at the commencement exercises of St. Dominic College of Asia, Angara cited the Congressional Oversight Committee on Education (EDCOM) whose establishment in 1990 led to the trifocalization of government regulation over the education system into the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Angara lamented that the country has not undertaken comprehensive, substantial reforms since EDCOM, and those attempted were mostly piecemeal.
"And now that deliberations are underway on the proposed K-to-12 changes to our school system, we want to be sure that the reforms will actually result in an enhanced basic curriculum for our students," said Angara, who is Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Culture and the Arts.
As part of its K-to-12 reform agenda, the Department of Education (DepEd) has been pushing for the addition of two more years in high school in keeping with international standards.
"What will the extra years be for if they do not provide our youth a better chance?" stressed the former UP President. "What is important [in the K to 12 reforms] is its direction. We must make sure that mathematics, science and engineering are emphasized."
"Nowadays, wealth is created by very young professionals who demonstrate creativity and innovativeness in leveraging their S&T backgrounds," added Angara, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE). "The founders of such companies as Microsoft, Google, and Apple were all known to be creative and innovative--the two ruling considerations of the world today."
He concluded, "The wave of the future is in S&T--as it always has been. Our youth is perhaps one of the most creative in the world. What we need to do now is to deepen our education in S&T-intensive fields."