UNESCO Chief Commends PH Education Reforms

Manila Bulletin, April 12, 2011 | Go to article overview

UNESCO Chief Commends PH Education Reforms


MANILA, Philippines - Education, they say, is the great equalizer.The United Nations (UN) certainly believes in same thing, as it included the attainment of universal primary education as one of its Millennium Development Goals (MDG). And as the 2015 deadline for the achievement of these MDGs draws nearer, there is certainly more pressure on the Philippine government to do more.This was stressed even further by the recent visit of Irina Bokova, the newly-appointed director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).Bokova was in the country for a four-day visit that included a meeting with President Aquino and Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro; a visit to the Banaue Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and receiving an honoris causa from the Philippine Normal University.Bokova was also awarded the University of Santo Tomas' (UST) Golden Cross Award during her stay. The Golden Cross Award is given by UST to persons who excel in the promotion of the arts, humanities and the sciences, or those who have distinguished themselves by their commitment to the service of humankind."This is my first official visit to the Philippines. We do work with the Philippines in education and the protection of biodiversity, water management. We are promoting the protection and preservation of historic and national sites that the Philippines has on the World Heritage List," she shared during her meeting with the Philippine press at UST.K-12 commendedBokova revealed that achieving primary education for all was not a problem unique to the Philippines, but is something that countries all over the world are currently grappling with."Achieving primary education for all is considered one of the most important goals of the international community. Our Global Monitoring Report shows that the children are marginalized in education for two different reasons. One of them is poverty. Sometimes it is because they are an ethnic minority, they don't speak the language, sometimes they are disabled children," she says.As such, Bokova praised the country for increasing the budget for education, as well as taking steps towards adopting the K-12 program that most of the world already applies to its educational system."It's an effort of the government that I commend. It's a political commitment on behalf of the government on education," she says. "This extension should not be viewed either-or. …

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