Decentralizing the country’s educational system will make more efficient and more effective delivering quality and relevant education to Filipino learners, according to an education group.
Citing a World Bank study, Love Basillote, executive director of the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), told reporters in a news briefing in Pasig City on Wednesday that a mere three years of school-based management can increase achievement test scores by 4.2 points on average.
“Imagine what we can accomplish if we did this longer and better,” she said.
According to Basillote, it is time for the government and private sectors to discuss the proposed decentralization of Philippine education, noting that “the education sector is too big to be managed centrally.”
“There are a lot of local trends that need to be addressed if the local stakeholders are to have a say on what kind of teachers they need to hire and what kind of subjects they need to emphasize,” she said.
Basillote pointed to Bohol province as an example.
“Their economy is tourism-related but they still have a lot of inputs on manufacturing, and many others. The other thing we are saying is that the bureaucracy is just too big and it is difficult to manage it centrally. We’re also an archipelago, and delivering books and school materials is very problematic. There are companies who want to donate computers [but]it has to be vetted at the national [level]and [it therefore takes longer before the
computers can be]delivered to the regions,” she said.
According to her, there is no need for a federal form of government to decentralize education.
“It’s not necessary. Actually, we already have a legal framework for decentralization, the Local Government Code,” Besillote added.
PBEd president Chito Salazar said decentralizing education will allow poor provinces to receive adequate resources from the government.
“We think that financially, the resources must remain controlled but the implementation, like hiring of teachers, should be more appropriate if the local stakeholders would have a big role in it,” he added.