Briones to school superintendents: Fear not, lead with courage amid challenges in education sector

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones has urged the new batch of the Philippine Association of School Superintendents (PASS) to lead with courage and face the challenges hounding the education sector so as to prepare the learners amid the uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones (Photo from DepEd)

Briones made the call after she virtually administered the oath to newly-inducted officers and board of directors of the PASS on July 23.

“We have to realistically contend with fear. Our children are afraid, our teachers are afraid and, I suspect that even in your heart of hearts, you are also afraid. You are afraid because you don’t know what’s coming next,” Briones said.

To encourage the school supervisor to face their fears, she recited Frank Herbert’s “Litany Against Fear” in the book and film “Dune.”

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain,” the 80-year old DepEd chief quoted.

During the event, Briones took time to address some of the concerns of the schools division superintendents. These include the widening of the gap in assessing learning outcomes; technical assistance for school heads, supervisors, and superintendents; overlapping of webinars at the central, regional, and district office; remote working arrangements and unevenness of outputs; and the slow rate of vaccination.

Briones cited the critical role being played by the school superintendents in leading school heads and teachers.

“That’s how important and how essential, how deeply embedded the superintendents are in the structure, as well as in the society, as well as the culture of education,” she said.

She thanked the PASS for helping more members of the DepEd and going beyond their mandate.

“PASS has gone beyond its small world of superintendents. You have given assistance and help on many occasions to the DepEd family, including myself. And I would like to acknowledge your help and expression of support, especially on the challenges that we as individuals at the present face because of the pandemic and other personal challenges,” she said.

Among the PASS officers who took their oath include President School Division Superintendent (SDS) Rita Riddle (National Capital Region), Vice President SDS Romelito Flores (Soccksargen), Secretary SDS Roger Capa (Mimaropa), Treasurer SDS Rommel Bautista (Calabarzon), Auditor SDS Ma. Luz delos Reyes (Western Visayas), Business Manager SDS Roy Tuballa (Zamboanga Peninsula), and Public Information Officer SDS Gregorio Cyrus Elejorde (Central Visayas).