Why Briones has a soft spot for Negros Oriental

Published March 25, 2021, 8:28 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Negros Oriental is close to the heart of Education Secretary Leonor Briones not only because she hails from the province but also because of its tradition of producing brilliant students and competent educators.

(Photo from DepEd)

“For such a small island, for such a small province, the magnitude of our contribution to education has been very immense,” Briones said during her virtual visit to the province early this week.

“We’re very small in terms of resources, [we’re] very small in terms of financial power but very important and very significant in contributions especially to our present concern at this time in inculcating high moral standards among our learners,” she added.

Briones, who hails from Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, virtually spearheaded the inauguration of two school buildings in West City Elementary School in Dumaguete City.

“Let’s enjoy the sight of our two, new buildings and let’s pay homage to the memories that are awakened,” Briones said. “Memories of our teachers, of our learners, and graduates who have turned out to be prominent personalities in the country,” she added.

Built to cater to more learners in the succeeding years, the two school buildings were received by Dumaguete City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Gregorio Cyrus Elejorde, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Ester Futalan, West City Elementary School Head Noel Bayno, and Teachers League President Jennifer Lyn Relasa.

Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua represented Briones in the ribbon cutting and the ceremonial turn-over of the P24.5 million worth two 3-story buildings with 18 classrooms.

Briones also led the distribution of learning gadgets in various schools in the province through “EduAksyon” initiative.

Through the initiative, empowerment tools such as gadgets – among others – are distributed to “Last Mile Schools” or those that are located in geographically isolated and disadvantaged and conflict-affected areas (GIDCA) without resources and facilities.

“This is a national program but we chose Negros Oriental first because of the unique challenges in the province,” Briones said – adding that “very first case” of a Last Mile School can be traced in Guihulngan.

Briones also urged the Negrense students and teachers to continue the province’s tradition of producing brilliant students and having competent educators.

“Let us keep up this tradition,” Briones said. “As we continue rebuilding our country, we look forward to more and more contributions from the province,” she added.