WITH the specter of a prolonged hybrid education facing today’s youth due to the pandemic, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday vowed that if elected president, his administration will provide public school students and teachers with the necessary tools so that quality education will not be stalled despite the health crisis.
“In our own little way, bilang isang batang galing sa squatter, masakit mapagkaitan ng edukasyon, napakahalaga nang edukasyon sa kahit sino mang tao, lalo na yung mahirap. Kaya noong nagkaroon ng pandemiya, ang Maynila, we provided free bandwidth and laptops for teachers, tablets for our students, para ma-bridge, matulay natin, maitawid natin yung pag-aaral ng ating mga kabataan,” Moreno said during the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Presidential Candidates Forum.
To this day, the 47-year-old presidential aspirant continues to distribute laptops and tablets to students and teachers, along with free bandwidth, in the capital city’s public schools for the continuing education of Manila’s youth.
Students in city-owned colleges are also being given a monthly P500 assistance to support their education.
While the government is taking care of the online education of the youth, Moreno told the KBP that his administration will also take advantage of the gap in face-to-face classes to build more public schools, like what he did in Manila.
“At the same time, we took the opportunity, yung ating disadvantage na no face-to-face, gamitin natin yung pondo ng gobyerno na magtatag ng mga eskwelahan na 10-storey, fully airconditioned with enough proper facility for the next generation,” he said.
The city government of Manila under the leadership of Moreno is currently building three modern 10-storey public school buildings: the Dr. Alejandro Albert Elementary School, Rosauro Almario Elementary School, and the Manila Science High School, which are all outfitted with more than 200 airconditioned classrooms, basketball courts, gyms, and roof decks.
Education is one of the pillars of Moreno’s 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda, intending to ensure that the Filipino youth are competent, capable, and ready for the digital transformation of manufacturing, production, and related industries and value creation processes, also known as Industry 4.0.
To do this, Moreno said he will increase the budget-to-GDP ratio of education from the present 3.4 percent to 4.3 percent, widen access to quality education, and revise the curricula in all academic levels with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program.
Since vulnerable sectors will be the most affected by automation, with 50 percent of the workforce having automatable tasks, the government will also upgrade technical and vocational programs to train Filipino workers for the jobs of the future. Training courses for public school teachers will also be a continuing process.
Moreno also vowed to build a national fiber backbone that will ensure that all Filipinos will have access to fast and reliable internet connectivity, and further boost the educational needs of the youth.
Education is very important to Moreno’s agenda, since education was one of the keys to his success, besides perseverance, hard work, and love for the people and the country.
When he first entered public service as city councilor at age 23, Moreno then was only a high school graduate.
He pursued higher education to polish his knowledge and skill, subsequently earning a degree in Business Administration degree at the International Academy of Management and Economics (IAME).
Moreno continued with his post-graduate studies at Harvard University under the Executive Education Program and the Strategic Leadership Program at Oxford University.
Moreno also had two years of law school at the Arellano University and Local Legislation and Local Finance at the University of the Philippines’ National College on Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG).