(Eagle News) – Vice-President Sara Duterte-Carpio took over the helm of the Department of Education on Monday, July 4, acknowledging the hardship of former DepEd chief Leonor Briones who will stay on as the department’s consultant.
The new DepEd Secretary Duterte-Carpio expressed admiration for the 81-year old Briones whom she credited for spearheading the education of school children amid the pandemic.
Duterte-Carpio said she was inspired by Briones’ performance as DepEd chief as she had pushed online and blended learning amid the pandemic. She was also the one who “pushed the full implementation of the senior high school program.”
“When you said, ‘education must continue, education must never stop.’ It was a statement that defined the direction of DepEd under your watch. You soldiered on, for the sake of the Filipino children and the entire Department of Education follows you,” she said.
“And as I take the task of being the next Secretary of the Department of Education, I take inspiration from you from your courage, dedication, your commitment, your integrity, selflessness and grace,” Vice-President and DepEd Secretary Duterte-Carpio said during the turn-over ceremony on Monday, July 4.
She also praised Briones for completing her mission at the DepEd.
“You fought the good fight. And we are all here today to celebrate the victories that you and that entire Department of Education have collected over the past six years of the Duterte administration,” she said.
The Vice-President said Briones “never cowered in the face of disapproval, public frustration and pressure” even at the height of the pandemic when many called for an “academic freeze.”
“When some sectors called for an academic freeze, their response was academic ease and it was a brilliant, appropriate and timely response made with will, resolve and foresight that our children’s learning be shielded from the adverse impacts of the pandemic,” the Vice-President said.
Briones “never cowered in the face of disapproval, public frustration and pressure,” and moved towards “academic ease,” Duterte-Carpio said.
The Vice-President said that DepEd under Briones “adapted and implemented the necessary measures to provide Filipino children accessible and quality education.”
This ensured that “learning is unhampered and our learners are not left out” even at the height of the pandemic.
Duterte-Carpio was all praises for Briones whom she called as an “inspiration” and a force who was generous with her advice.
“I am humbled and honored to follow in the footsteps of a much admired academic, public servant, social activist and change maker,” she said.
“I’m truly happy that she committed to stay on as a consultant for the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Education,” the Vice-President said.
During the turn-over ceremony, Briones formally gave to Duterte-Carpio the DepEd official flag, its official seal, and the Basic Education Development Plan 2030.
Briones also gave a speech outlining the achievements of the DepEd under her watch for the past six years, including the learning gains during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She worked for public school teachers to have a higher pay, which Duterte-Carpio said was a great achievement in Philippine education history.
Before serving as the DepEd chief during the Duterte administration, Briones, a noted academician and economist, served as the country’s treasurer during the time of former President Joseph Estrada, from August 1998 to January 2001.
She was formally conferred in 2012 the rank of professor emeritus of public administration by the University of the Philippines’s Board of Regents (BOR). She is currently the only living professor emeritus of the National College of Public Administration and Governance. She also chaired the board of directors of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.
In 2005, she addressed the UN General Assembly where she appealed for the United Nations’ member countries to fulfill their promises to fight poverty.
(Eagle News Service)