July 30, 2021 – Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones posed a challenge to newly-inducted officers and board of directors of the Philippine Association of School Superintendents (PASS.)

“We have to realistically contend with fear. Our children are afraid, our teachers are afraid and, I suspect that even in your heart of hearts, you are also afraid. You are afraid because you don’t know what’s coming next,” Secretary Briones said after she virtually administered their oath-taking ceremony on July 23.

The DepEd chief then encouraged the school supervisors to face the fear and challenge in the education sector to prepare learners for an unpredictable world as she recited Frank Herbert’s “Litany Against Fear” in the book and film “Dune.”

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain,” she quoted.

The new batch of PASS officers who took their oath includes President SDS Rita Riddle of NCR, Vice President SDS Romelito Flores of SOCCKSARGEN, Secretary SDS Roger Capa of MIMAROPA, Treasurer SDS Rommel Bautista of CALABARZON, Auditor SDS Ma. Luz delos Reyes of Western Visayas, Business Manager SDS Roy Tuballa of Zamboanga Peninsula, and PIO SDS Gregorio Cyrus Elejorde of Central Visayas.

Moreover, Briones addressed some of the concerns of the schools division superintendents including the widening of the gap in assessing learning outcomes, technical assistance for school heads, supervisors, and superintendents, overlapping of webinars at the central, regional, and district office, remote working arrangements and unevenness of outputs, and the slow rate of vaccination.

Growing up in a family of teachers, the Secretary said she admired schools superintendents for their dedication in leading school heads and teachers.

“That’s how important and how essential, how deeply embedded the superintendents are in the structure, as well as in the society, as well as the culture of education,” she added.

Briones also expressed gratitude to PASS for going beyond their mandate in order to help more members of the Department.

“PASS has gone beyond its small world of superintendents. You have given assistance and help on many occasions to the DepEd family, including myself. And I would like to acknowledge your help and expression of support, especially on the challenges that we as individuals at the present face because of the pandemic and other personal challenges,” she said.