February 25, 2021 – Committed to engage the youth sector, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones discussed and consulted various initiatives of the Department of Education (DepEd) to student-leaders all over the country last Saturday, February 20.

“Kailangan kasali ang kabataan sa paggawa ng polisiya ng Departamento. At yung ating mga tinuturo ay relevant at meaningful sa inyo,” Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said during the National Assembly of Division Federation Officers.

After virtually administering the oath of 226 Supreme Student Government (SSG) officers, Secretary Briones gamely answered their questions for more than four hours on academic ease measures, sports event plans, future of education, learning continuity initiatives, among others.

“Marami sa aming polisiya ay nanggagaling sa mga kabataan, through consultation, pero gusto namin gawing pormal through your federations,” she added.

Briones even urged student-leaders to review and give inputs for the updating of the SSG mandate, which is currently based on DepEd Order No. 049, s. 2011.

The Education chief also discussed present challenges in youth participation, including the spread of misinformation and fake news.

“I expect our learners to have the capacity to reason, and think rationally. Second, the capacity to have an open mind,” she answered when asked by Region X SSG President Queenie Joy Cabatingan about her expectations of today’s learners.

In another query during the open forum, the Secretary replied in the affirmative when CALABARZON SSG President Earl Vincent Hiwatig asked if DepEd is planning to continue implementing blended learning initiatives such as DepEd TV once the pandemic ends.

“Kasi maski wala na ang pandemic, mayroon pa ring lugar na walang connectivity, mayroon pa ring eskwelahan na kulang ng libro,” she said.

Briones also formally turned over digital tablets to SSG federation presidents to further promote their causes on student governance.

Meanwhile, student representatives from Region CALABARZON, VII, XI, X, and XII shared their Kabataan reports, which highlighted various SSG initiatives in the regions. There were also 226 SSG advisers during the event.

Aimed to provide the youth sector with up-to-date information in basic education, the assembly also featured Undersecretaries Diosdado San Antonio and Alain Del Pascua, who shared presentations on academic ease, and blended learning approach, respectively.

“It is an honor to be given the chance to interact with government leaders and organizations for they are the ones who can greatly help us and forward our goals”, National Federation of SSG President Ken Bien Mar Caballes said.