PANGASINAN, January 29, 2019 – Around 5,000 campus journalists across all regions gathered for the 2019 National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) in the municipality of Lingayen.

Anchored on the theme, “Fostering 21st Century Skills and Character-based Education through Campus Journalism,” this annual conference is slated from January 28 to February 1, and aims to equip and provide students with knowledge, skills, and experience in campus journalism.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones expressed her awe of the students, as well as of their advisers, for making this far in the competition during her keynote speech at the opening program held at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center Grandstand.

She also highlighted that one of the many lessons that campus journalists may get from this experience is to enhance their skills to discern journalism from propaganda: “How can you discern propaganda vis-à-vis professional, competent journalism? Ngayon napakahirap na to tell the difference between truth and falsehood, between manufactured news and real news. So you always have to seek the truth.”

Briones likewise explained that teachers and personnel in charge of the curricula, programs, and projects of DepEd play a crucial role in instilling the skill of discernment in the minds of the learners, especially the campus journalists.

  • DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones delivered the keynote speech before the 5,000 delegates of the 2019 National Schools Press Conference on January 28 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center Grandstand.

The Education chief also underscored the need to strengthen lessons and efforts in enhancing the grammar and spelling skills of students, “Kailangan pa natin i-sharpen ang ating grammar and spelling. Dahil ‘yung ating comma, semi-colon, a question mark can change the entire meaning of a sentence or the message you are trying to convey.”

The Secretary, DepEd-I Regional Director Malcolm Garma, and Bureau of Curriculum Development Director Jocelyn Andaya answered questions from select delegates from each region in a press conference held at the Sison Auditorium. This allowed the students to experience how a real press conference works.

Also present at the event were Undersecretary Lorna Dino, Assistant Secretary Alma Torio, and other DepEd and local government officials.