FORMER education secretary Lourdes Reynes Quisumbing passed away on October 14. She was 96, according to a statement released by Miriam College on Monday.
Quisumbing became the first female secretary of the then Department of Education, Culture and Sports in 1986 when she was appointed to the post by the late president Corazon C. Aquino.
At the time of her appointment, Quisumbing was eight years into her term as president of Maryknoll College, now Miriam College.
As education secretary, Quisumbing’s tenure marked the expansion of free public education to the secondary level, an increase in the share of education in the national budget, rationalization of higher education, and an emphasis on values education.
The Cebu-born Quisumbing, fondly called ‘Dr. Q’, was the widow of Carlos C Quisumbing, Sr., an engineer, and is survived by 8 out of her 10 children, 27 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren, and three great-great grand children. She was the matriarch of a family whose number almost matched her age.