Department of Education Culture and Sports (DECS) Sec. Raul Roco called on the youth and the academe to play active roles in contributing to the growth and recovery of the country last July 4 at the Medicine Cinematorium.

According to Roco, the country’s education system lacks “numeracy”––mathematics proficiency––training which makes Filipinos less competitive in the global arena.

“(Based on) tests in ‘numeracy,’ we are number 42 out of 46 (among Asian countries),” he said.

In the symposium on “The Role of the Youth in the Changing Times,” Roco reminded the students to use their talents to help the country improve because as they “grow” the country also “grows” with them.

He also encouraged the academic community to participate in the production of books to help the government in its literacy campaign.

As an incentive, he said, the authors will receive three percent in royalties for 50 years, if their books will pass the screening conducted by the Department of Education. The books will then be prescribed in public schools.

Likewise, Roco said he is doing everything to rid the department of corruption, which hinders the effective implementation of programs for the improvement of education.

“DECS does not merit the reputation of being the third most corrupt agency. I hope that by yearend, it will be known as the best agency in the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.

Furthermore, Roco pointed out the big role education will play in freeing Filipinos from the “chains of indolence.”

“As Rizal said, Filipinos are indolent because they have been kept ignorant, that is why we must awake them for education,” he said. Teodoro Lorenzo A. Fernandez

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