L-R: Rina Lopez, Pres. Noynoy Aquino, Synergos chair Peggy Dulany, former Lopez Group chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez and Connie R. Lopez in New York during one of PNoy’s first trips outside the Philippines as president in 2010Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. (KCFI) president Rina Lopez shares a heartfelt statement on the passing of “education president” Benigno Aquino III
ON behalf of the Lopez family and Knowledge Channel Foundation, we pay the highest tribute to the life and leadership of the 15th president of the Philippines, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, or simply “PNoy.”
Under his watch, the basic education sector achieved numerous milestones, two of which were most remarkable: the universal kindergarten and the K-12 laws. Through sheer political will, legislative laws, budgetary support and the collaboration of the Department of Education (DepEd) and countless partners in the public and private sectors, the country saw the unprecedented transformation of the basic education system, giving our countrymen a chance to be at par with the rest of the world.
From 2010 to 2016, the PNoy administration hired over 174,000 teachers and built 180,000 classrooms. The share of children attending preprimary school from the poorest 20% of households doubled while the percentage of out-of-school children was drastically reduced from 55% to 5.21%. These inputs gave children a better chance at learning.
During PNoy’s term, open collaboration and public-private partnerships were highly encouraged. Knowledge Channel Foundation had frequent collaborations with the government, but perhaps the most notable one was the implementation of the Superintendents Leadership Program (SLP) together with De La Salle University, Lopez Group Foundation Inc., the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the DepEd.
The training of more than 400 school division superintendents and assistant school division superintendents ensured wider participation in implementing education reforms, especially at the time of the passing of the K-12 law. As former DepEd Sec. Br. Armin Luistro said, “if there is only one legacy we would want to leave behind, it is a leadership program and leaders like you who will continue the reform.”
Even today, many years later, as we continue to meet and work with SLP participants when we turn over Knowledge Channel educational video lessons and train teachers and principals all over the country, they continue to express their gratitude for the opportunity to have learned from the best and to be better education leaders.
While much continues to be done to solve the Philippine learning crisis, Pres. Aquino’s political will to invest in the education of the Filipino rightfully earned him the title “the education president.”
In his passing, PNoy’s life and leadership of “Daang Matuwid” will continue through the advocacy of Knowledge Channel Foundation, the Lopez family, our companies and the work we do for the Filipino children and our country. His story and our shared stories on how we helped transform the Philippine education landscape for the better will carry on for future generations to draw inspiration from.
To PNoy’s family, our deep condolences on the passing of PNoy. We pray for his eternal repose in God’s embrace. We pray too for peace, comfort and love for your family and for our country during this difficult time. We thank the Aquino family for the many sacrifices endured for our country and hope to repay you with similar passion and actions to better the lives of the Filipino. Warm hugs.
Maraming salamat, PNoy. Paalam. (Story/Photos by: Rina Lopez)
Lopez and Aquino share a quick chat during a break at the event