Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Wednesday, Nov. 16, graced the Department of Education (DepEd) Tarlac Province’s 120th Founding Anniversary, where she put the spotlight on teachers and DepEd officials who faced many challenges, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The official was the guest of honor during the event attended by 600 DepEd personnel and local officials.
She congratulated the DepEd Schools Division of the Province of Tarlac, home to the oldest high school in the Philippines — the Tarlac National High School — for successfully organizing the celebration.
“It is a significant milestone, indeed, for an institution to have had 120 years of fulfilling the noble mission of educating children, some of whom have become pillars of our history and society,” Duterte said at the Bulwagan ng Kanlahi.
In an 18-minute message, the Vice President emphasized that teaching a child is a serious commitment and a noble responsibility.
“Mahirap na trabaho ang humubog ng kaisipan ng isang bata. Nasusubok ang ating integridad bilang isang magulang at isang mamamayan (Molding a child’s mind is a difficult task. The integrity as a parent and citizen is challenged by it),” she said.
“Kaya saludo ako sa mga guro at ating mga DepEd officials, mga nagpaplano para sa edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan. Ang kahalagahan ng isang tapat, may puso at may malasakit na guro ay hindi napapantayan ng kahit anumang yamang materyal, lalong-lalo na sa impluwensyang nabibigay nila sa mga kabataan (So I salute teachers and DepEd officials, those who plan for the education of our youth. The importance of an honest and compassionate teacher cannot be equaled by material wealth, especially in the influence they have over the youth),” she added.
The Vice President recognized the teachers labored through many challenges, and lauded them for continuing to rise amidst the pandemic, with the country recently transitioning to full face-to-face classes.
She also took time to briefly discussed the Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP) 2030, a project launched by former Education secretary Leonor Briones, which aims to “enrich the experience of learners in schools and learning facilities.”
She echoed the commitment of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to help the DepEd in improving and catching up with the rest of the world.
“In the next six years, we will usher in reforms and changes necessary to improve access, equity, quality, resilience, and basic education governance. This is our moment to rise above and shine our light upon our learners,” Duterte said.
Ending her message, the Vice President expressed hope that Tarlaqueños will play a role in building the country’s future.
“I cannot overemphasize our role in shaping the future. I hope all our Tarlaqueño educators continue to be beacons of light for your students, co-educators, planners, administrators, and respective communities,” she stressed.
“Let us work together to rebuild back better, stronger, and more resilient basic education in our beloved country,” she added.
Meanwhile, Duterte also visited the “Belenismo” in Armor Division, Camp O' Donnel, Capas, and the Northern Luzon Command in San Miguel, Tarlac.
With the Tarlac Heritage Foundation and Philippine Army, she distributed noche buena packages and school supplies to the beneficiaries in different municipalities in Tarlac and conducted a candy cane story telling session to children.