Former Education Secretary Lourdes Quisumbing passes away

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 16) — Former Secretary of Education Dr. Lourdes Quisumbing passed away on Saturday, according to a statement released by Miriam College on  Monday. She was 96.

Quisumbing was the first female head of the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports (DECS) under former president Corazon Aquino whose term began in 1986.

“Her tenure marked the expansion of free public education to the secondary level, an increase in the share of education in the national budget, rationalization of higher education, and an emphasis on values education,” the statement read.

After resigning from her post in 1990, Quisumbing was appointed Secretary-General of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines, a post she held  until she retired in  1998.

Quisumbing dedicated her life to education, starting with a teaching stint  at St. Theresa’s College (STC) in Cebu in the 1940s. She eventually became its Dean in 1966.

From 1966 to 1986, Quisumbing also assumed the posts of Chair of Graduate Education at the University of San Carlos, Dean of the Graduate School of Education at De La Salle University Manila, and President of Maryknoll College (now Miriam College) in Quezon City.

After retirement, she became chairperson of STC’s Board, the first lay person to serve that position. She was also chairperson of the Board of Trustees as well as a professor emeritus of Miriam College.

She was the president of UNESCO-APNEIVE (Asia Pacific Network for International Education and Values Education) and APNIEVE Philippines, of which she was the founding president.

Quisumbing, who hailed from Cebu, was the widow of engineer Carlos C. Quisumbing. She is survived by her 10 children, 27 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.