NEGROS ORIENTAL, February 2, 2019 – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones distributed school supplies to about 600 pupils and teachers of Balugo Elementary School and Balabag Elementary School, municipality of Valencia on January 24.
The gift-giving activity, which was originally scheduled last Christmas, was held with the assistance of DepEd-Region VII, led by Regional Director Juliet Jeruta and Assistant Regional Director Salustiano Jimenez.
Christmas every day
“My purpose really in coming is I wanted to see the schoolchildren. I want to see everyone,” the Education chief shared.
“You might be asking me why we are giving gifts to you when in fact, Christmas season is officially over. We celebrate Christmas because of Jesus Christ. However, we do not celebrate Christmas only during December 25,” Briones added.
Addressing the learners, Briones emphasized that showing compassion and love to a classmate or schoolmate, being obedient to teachers, or sharing even the littlest food to others is the true meaning of Christmas. The pupils listened intently to Briones as she narrated an old Christmas story.
Briones likewise reminded them to study hard in order for them to get the jobs they want in the future, and to live a better life.
Local education issues, concerns
The simple activity also served as a way to address local issues on education in the municipality of Valencia.
Valencia town Mayor Edgar Teves, who was also present during the event, informed Briones that the municipal council has approved the construction of a three-classroom building worth P2.5 million, to be utilized as a boarding house for pupils and teachers of Dobdob Elementary School which is the farthest school in town. He added that local high school graduates have availed the college scholarships for state colleges or private universities.
Teves further reiterated his full support to all the programs and projects of the Department.
Also present in the activity were Schools Division Superintendents Wilfreda Bongalos and Ma. Theresa Avanzado, Assistant Superintendent Adolf Aguilar, Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) officials, and local government unit (LGU) officials.