Amid the challenges that confront the education sector, Education Secretary Leonor Briones urged the youth – particularly the students – to practice rational thinking at all times.
“I expect our learners to have the capacity to reason, and think rationally,” Briones said during the National Assembly of Division Federation Officers held Feb. 20. “Second, the capacity to have an open mind,” she added.
This is in response to the question when asked by Region X Supreme Student Government (SSG) President Queenie Joy Cabatingan about Briones’ expectations of today’s learners.
Briones underscored the importance of rational and critical thinking among students especially amid the present challenges in youth participation including the spread of misinformation and fake news.
During the same event, Briones also highlighted youth participation in student-leaders’ assembly. In line with its commitment to engage the youth sector, the Department of Education (DepEd) discussed and consulted various initiatives of the agency to student-leaders all over the country.
Briones said that youth participation is very crucial when it comes to the policies created by the DepEd. “We have to make sure that what we teach remains relevant and meaningful for all you,” she added.
Briones virtually administered the oath of 226 Supreme SSG officers nationwide. She also formally turned over digital tablets to SSG federation presidents to further promote their causes on student governance.
Meanwhile, student representatives from Region CALABARZON, VII, XI, X, and XII shared their Kabataan reports, which highlighted various SSG initiatives in the regions. There were also 226 SSG advisers during the event.
Secretary Briones also answered questions of the student-leaders related to academic ease measures, sports event plans, future of education, learning continuity initiatives – among others.
For instance, Briones replied in the affirmative when CALABARZON SSG President Earl Vincent Hiwatig asked if DepEd is planning to continue implementing blended learning initiatives such as DepEd TV once the pandemic ends.
“Even if there is no pandemic, there are places without connectivity, we also still have schools without books,” Briones said in Filipino.
To provide the youth sector with up-to-date information in basic education, the assembly also featured Undersecretaries Diosdado San Antonio and Alain Del Pascua, who shared presentations on academic ease and blended learning approach, respectively.
During the event, Briones also urged student-leaders to review and give inputs for the updating of the SSG mandate – which is currently based on DepEd Order No. 049, s. 2011. “Many of our policies come from the youth, through consultation, but what we want to do is for formalize these through your federations,” she added.
Meanwhile, National Federation of SSG President Ken Bien Mar Caballes said it was an “honor to be given the chance to interact with government leaders and organizations for they are the ones who can greatly help us and forward our goals.”