ILOILO CITY, November 23, 2022 – In celebration of National Students’ Day (NSD) 2022, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday highlighted the contribution of youth in nation-building.

“Today, we are celebrating a very special day, the National Students’ Day. Araw niyo ito. We believe in the significant contributions of our learners, our students. We acknowledge that you are all integral to the development of our country. Kailangan namin kayo. Kailangan natin kayo. Kailangan kayo ng bayan,” Assistant Secretary for Youth Affairs and Special Concerns Dr. Dexter A. Galban said.

During the NSD program hosted by Region VI (Western Visayas), Assistant Secretary Galban shared that a nationwide survey on the Youth Education Agenda turned over to DepEd during the 2022 Philippine Youth Convergence disclosed that students are most concerned in thematic areas of leadership and engagement, enhancing quality and access to education, and improving the environment.

In relation to this, ASec. Galban mentioned that the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Youth Affairs and Special Concerns – Youth Formation Division (OASYASC-YFD) is exploring programs and collaborations to empower and capacitate the youth to prepare them for the future.

Under the guidance of ASec. Galban and the division’s Officer-in-Charge Rovin James Canja, OASYASC-YFD will focus on areas, namely, leadership, good governance, and civic engagements; health and well-being; climate action, agriculture, and environmental protection; innovation, entrepreneurship, and future-readiness; and gender, and social inclusion.

Featured activities in the celebration were Laro Tayo, A Playful Throwback to Traditional Filipino Games; and the formal commencement of National Play Advocacy Week to strengthen and support the rights of every child to play.

#YOUthSpeaks, a live advocacy show with select students from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, together with adolescent and adult advocates; Student Fiesta: The Ultimate Online Paligsayahan, a compilation of online games and competitions; #KayangKabataan: Film Showing of Filipino Youth Advocacies and Initiatives, Giling, Galing, at Gilas ng Kabataang Pilipino: Filipino Youth’s Talent Show; special performances; and main events celebration with well-known personalities and learners were also showcased in the four-day event.

Furthermore, ASec. Galban reminded the students to view success not as a destination but rather as a journey of fulfillment.

“Learning theories through your class subjects is essential to succeed in life, have a better future, have a better standing, to have a better outlook. But as you progress, may you not forget to follow your heart as you serve others as part of your school, your community, and our nation. May you enjoy doing the things you love and may they make you truly happy.”