By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones weighed on debates to reduce social sciences subjects to ramp up teachings on applied sciences so Filipino learners will be able to “catch up” with the rest of the world.
During Briones’ visit to Schools Division Offices of Kalinga and Tabuk City, Merlyne Gumatay of DepEd Kalinga shared that the Education Chief weighed in on the “ongoing debate on the reduction of subjects in the social sciences to give way to the addition of subjects in trigonometry, chemistry, and engineering to be able to catch up with international standards.”
Gumatay noted that the Secretary of Education, “maintained her stand to strike a balance” between the so-called hard and soft sciences.
“When will we get our soul? What will make us distinct or unique from other countries? We cannot get our soul from mathematics,” Briones said.
“We get our soul from music, dances, ethics, stories of great and brave heroic men and women, and this is when we know that we are Filipinos,” Briones explained. “Only when we know that we are Cordillerans, we are from Kalinga, because this is our identity, this is our song, even if we know mathematics and chemistry,” she added.
Remain trustworthy, retain identity
Meanwhile, Gumatay said that Briones also emphasized on the impact of teaching during her visit – saying that “learners will always believe in what their teachers tell them and will behave the way their teachers behave.”
Briones also challenged the teachers of the Schools Division Offices of Kalinga and Tabuk City to “preserve” their integrity to keep the trust of their learners. “The message is that the learners still trust us as grown-ups—whatever we do and whatever we don’t do—to take care of them and their future,” she said.
For Briones, there is “always hope” for learners. “I hope that as teachers, we continue and we retain that trust that our learners lay in us,” she explained. “There is something special about the teacher which makes a child trust in him [because] teachers are always respected,” she added.
Briones visited the two schools division offices during the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) Meet 2019 where she delivered the keynote address.