Education Secretary Leonor Briones at 2018 Global Education Meeting

03 December 2018 - Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, as Head of the Philippine Delegation to the Global Education Meeting (2018 GEM), shared the Philippines’ progressive education policies to ensure respect for and to promote cultural diversity, such as mother tongue-based education and alternative learning for indigenous peoples.

In her statement, Secretary Briones emphasized that the Philippines has always been a tolerant and inclusive society with various races and faiths living in harmony. She explained that the main threats to diversity were external factors that pitted faiths and races against each other, and fake news and misinformation that did not value the many educational reforms taking place in countries such as the Philippines. She called for greater respect for diversity not only for learners, but also among countries.

Secretary Briones also mentioned that while siege of Marawi in Mindanao was an example of external factors affecting the country, it was likewise a model of people supporting unity in diversity by their outpouring of assistance to displaced communities. She also noted that the Philippines also supported gender and lifestyle choices in its educational system in a very open and inclusive manner.

Following its formal endorsement as member of the Global Education 2030 Steering Committee, the Philippines participates in the 2018 GEM being held this week in Brussels, Belgium which will take stock of progress and challenges to date in the implementation of Global Education 2030 targets and commitments, and provide strategic input on education in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for the 2019 High-Level Political Forum in New York.

Recognized as a pioneer for its inclusive education policies in the recently launched 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report, the Philippines shall be a panelist in the workshop entitled Teaching and Learning Respect for Diversity and in the ministerial debate entitled Empowering People: Ensuring Inclusiveness and Gender Equality during the 2018 GEM.

The Philippines will be attending the GEM as member of the Steering Committee until 2020.