Groups wish next DepEd chief to be ‘true nationalist’

Groups wish next DepEd chief to be ‘true nationalist’ – not a politician

/ 12:37 PM June 20, 2024

SHOW OF APPRECIATION Starting School Year 2025 to 2026, public school teachers in the basic education level will get a higher teaching allowance. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Class is ongoing in a public elementary school. — INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The next Department of Education (DepEd) secretary should be a “true nationalist” and not a member of a political clan.

These considerations are among the wishlists laid by teachers’ confederations in the country as Vice President Sara Duterte tendered her resignation as the education chief.


The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) urged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to appoint a DepEd head who is not a politician or actively involved in partisan politics.


“This is to ensure that DepEd is spared from political bickering and being dragged into divisive political fighting,” the TDC Chairperson Banjo Basas said in a statement.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said the next top DepEd official should be a “true nationalist” who will revolutionize the country’s education system.

“We need a true nationalist – one who will challenge the current orientation of the education system of merely supplying cheap and docile labor force to foreign capital,” said ACT Chairperson Vlademir Quetua in a statement.

“We need someone who will push for an education that produces creative and critical thinkers, inventors and innovators, with a deep sense of nationalism who will propel genuine nationalist development,” he added.

Scholarly, with clear vision

Basas also said the next secretary should originate from the academic sector.

“We also hope that the next secretary comes from the academe, or at the very least, has experience teaching in a public school; someone who has lived through the daily experiences of teachers and students, grasps the situation on the ground, and whose heart is truly a teacher’s,” he suggested.


For his part, Quetua noted that before the academic credentials are considered, the next DepEd secretary should have a “clear vision.”

Quetua said the next education chief “should have the sense to recognize the grave crisis in education, the desperate quality of education, the chronically underpaid and overworked status of our teachers and staff, and the degeneration of the country’s grasp of history and truth,” he noted.

“From here, he/she should have enough courage and a clear vision as to how to overturn our situation through game-changing reforms,” he added.

Worsening rift

Without disclosing her reason, Duterte stepped down as education secretary, the Palace announced on Wednesday.

Quetua said Duterte’s resignation only shows “the worsening rift” between the political camps of Marcos and Duterte.

He also stressed that Duterte had not resolved any of the education problems and instead pushed for programs that were only done for her own political interests.

“She has never sided with our call for salary increase and better benefits, instead scrambled to secure confidential and intelligence funds for her own political ends,” Quetua said.

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He was referring to the P500 million in confidential funds Duterte initially sought last year before resting them following a backlash.

TAGS: Department of Education

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