DUMAGUETE CITY, July 11, 2019 – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones visited Dumaguete City National High School and expressed the urgency of rebuilding the 14 classrooms engulfed by fire on June 20, 2019.
“All of us in the Department of Education, the provincial government, the city government, and our congressmen, including the business sector, are willing to unite and extend support so that we can rebuild our school building as fast and as early as possible,” Briones said in vernacular when she visited the school on July 4.
The Education chief shared how rehabilitating the school building will be a challenge considering that the Department’s budget for 2019 has already been planned and allocated.
“It is with joy that I announce that we do not need to wait for the 2020 budget because I have talked with government offices and there’s a big possibility that aside from DepEd, the Department of Budget and Management and the Office of the President will help us in this. With hope, I believe we can start rebuilding the classrooms within this year,” she added.
She was joined by DepEd Undersecretaries Alain Del Pascua and Revsee Escobedo, and Sen. Bong Go, to assess and evaluate the extent of damage caused by the fire.
Meanwhile, temporary learning centers shall be set up to ensure the continuity of education for the affected learners.
ASEAN Schools Games, Last Mile Schools
In the same message, Briones further shared that the Department is preparing for the ASEAN Schools Games (ASG) 2020 and gathering ground reports as the province of Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City were chosen as hosts.
Briones stressed the importance of ensuring the success of the event: “We are fortunate to be chosen as host of this big event but along with the good fortune is a great responsibility.”
The ASG will be participated by athletes from the 10 nations in Southeast Asia. It aims to promote ASEAN solidarity and provide opportunities for school athletes to benchmark their sporting talents, and interact and engage in cultural exchange within the ASEAN region. She urged everybody to be united and set aside political colors, beliefs, and religion, as the “country’s pride is at stake.”
Finally, Briones shared how the Department is prioritizing its last mile schools situated in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas: “We made an inventory and we will do our best that within this year, we will reach these schools which are left behind in terms of facilities and infrastructure.”
“I am sharing this with you so we will not lose hope, we will not lose faith that our country, our officials, our business sectors, parents, and other stakeholders will always consider education as a topmost priority. Whatever you may need—as long as we are informed—we will try our best to meet,” Briones concluded.
By: Chinky Freires-Paculanang
Asst. School Principal Designate
Junob National High School
Dumaguete City Division