PASIG CITY, November 17, 2020 – With the goal to recognize the invaluable contribution of student activism to Philippine education and democracy, the Department of Education (DepEd), through the Bureau of Learner Support Services -Youth Formation Division (BLSS-YFD), in cooperation with the National Youth Commission (NYC), launched the celebration of the 1st National Students’ Day (NSD).

The event likewise also commemorated the International Students’ Day, which was spearheaded by the International Students’ Council in 1941.

Anchored on the theme Mag-aaral na Pilipino, Palaban sa Buhay, Gamit ang Puso, Galing at Talino, this year’s celebration of NSD virtually gathered millions of students all over the country.

“Magtutulungan kami para magpatuloy ang edukasyon ng mga mag-aaral,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones expressed support to the learners as she underscored the importance of education, especially in this time of crisis.

“Through DepEd Commons, TV and radio, along with the outpouring assistance of our partners and stakeholders, no learners will be left behind. Mahal na mahal namin kayo,” the DepEd Chief assured.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del B. Pascua highlighted in his message the young Filipino heroes of the past that may inspire the youth of today. “Nawa’y kilalanin natin at gawing inspirasyon ang ating mga bayani sa ating pagharap sa mga hamon ng buhay natin ngayon. Isapuso natin ang kanilang halimbawa at paniigin sa inyong mga gawain ang pagiging maka-Diyos, maka-tao, makakalikasan at makabansa.

BLSS OIC Director Lope B. Santos, on the other hand, emphasized that NSD is a tribute to the power of students. “Your contributions to our country continue to make marks in different fields towards nation building and development. In this era of new normal, our students have immersed themselves as heroes against the pandemic.”

Also present in the virtual celebration are the DepEd Executive Committee (ExeCom) members, Regional Directors, Schools Division Superintendents, NYC officials led by Chairperson and CEO Ryan R. Enriquez, advocates and artists like Antoinette Taus, Bobby Yan, Xia Vigor, Isabelle De Leon, and Katarina Rodriguez, student leaders, teachers, parents, and students, among others.

BLSS-YFD Chief Adolf P. Aguilar, the overall head of the event, challenged all young leaders to continue their advocacies. “We have witnessed how students blended in and created their own coping mechanisms in the new normal. “We call on you, young leaders of today, to continue working on your advocacies for change, especially in this time of the pandemic.”

“Marami sa ating mga naging bayani ay mga estudyante nung sila ay lumaban para sa ating bayan at sa ating kasarinlan. Kaya sa ating selebrasyon ng National Students’ Day, hinihikayat ko kayong mga estudyante, sapagkat kayong mga kabataan, kayong mga mag-aaral, ang isa sa mga pag-asa ng ating bayan,” Undersecretary Alain concluded.