President-elect Bongbong Marcos urged the Department of Education to be led by vice president-elect Sara Duterte to improve the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM instruction in schools to support the country's economic growth.
Responding to comments from his supporters, Marcos said he believes the government should put more focus on STEM education, citing the poor performance of Filipino students when it comes to science and mathematics.
A 2019 study showed that the Philippines ranked the lowest among 58 participating countries in an assessment for science and mathematics for Grade 4 students.
"Isa sa i-stress natin dito sa bagong gobyerno, bagong administrasyon, lalo na sa DepEd, ay to give more stress doon sa tinatawag na STEM," Marcos said in a vlog posted on Saturday.
"Yun talaga ang pangangailangan, and we have a lot to catch up dahil nga naiwanan tayo ng ating mga karatig bansa. I think that as long as we continue to push it, kayang-kaya naman ng Pilipino yan," he added.
The country's economy is largely based on science and technical innovation, and the country needs to produce graduates that would help in research and development, Marcos said.
"Kailangan natututunan natin kung paano paandarin yan, kung paano pagandahin, kung paano i-apply dito sa Pilipinas," he said.
"We need the talent. That is one of the major areas that our DepEd is going to be looking at and how to strengthen the instruction for our children and students," he added.
Duterte has accepted Marcos' offer to head the DepEd once they both assume their positions on June 30. Aside from improving the country's education system, the outgoing Davao City mayor is also tasked to ensure the safe return of students to full face-to-face classes.