Briones says makings of a hero go beyond physique, age at the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan

April 30, 2021 – Reflecting on the contributions of national heroes to Philippines independence, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones underscored that physique and age should not be the basis of being a hero but on one’s persistence and commitment to fight any challenge instead.

In her message at the Department’s simultaneous flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday in celebration of the Battle of Mactan’s 500th anniversary, Secretary Briones mentioned a new development from a European historian that described the first Filipino hero Lapu-Lapu as a “pudgy 70-year-old man,” disproving earlier claims of his fit body.

“Heroes don’t look like comic book characters all the time. Our idols don’t have to look as if they emerged from the gym or the beauty parlor. Our heroes are real people who may be 70, who may be 30 or 40, but have the determination and the will not to be conquered by a foreign country,” Sec. Briones emphasized.

While acknowledging the need for verification, Sec. Briones still welcomed the new information as it can bring a lesson to everyone.

“I’m very glad that this point of view emerged at this point because it teaches us that leadership, bravery, courage, and intelligence, skill in warfare, skill in tactics are not limited to those who look like they emerge from the gym,” she said.

The Education chief also clarified that this celebration is for the victory of Lapu-Lapu and Filipino ancestors who defied foreign powers and not for the circumnavigation of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

“Today as we reflect and remember the victory of Lapu-Lapu, let us remind ourselves that this is a victory of people who resisted colonialism and eventually were called Filipinos,” she said.

Aside from paying tribute to Lapu-Lapu, the Education chief also underscored that it is time to recognize lesser-known heroes in Philippine history such as Leon Kilat, Arcadio Maxilom, Juan Climaco, Teresa Magbanua, Gat Tamblot, Francisco Dagohoy, Juan Araneta, and Graciano Lopez Jaena.

In her opening remarks, Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla urged every Filipino to imitate the self-determination and resilience of Lapu-Lapu and his colleagues as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Department of Education joins our fellow Filipinos to inspire one another to commit to a higher level of servitude and nationalism. We have drawn inspiration from individuals among us who have been galvanizing forces contributing to our community and country at large,” she said.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships and Project Management Service Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. prompted all the Department’s stakeholders to take to heart the significance of the event.

“I enjoined all of us in DepEd, not only our DepEd officials, our parents, our teachers, our children to feel the meaning of this day. Para po kapag naitaas ang watawat na yan, kapag umawit tayo ng ating pambansang awit na Lupang Hinirang, tandaan po natin ang mga Pilipino na nagbuwis buhay,” he ended.


DepEd, PNU seal partnership on professional development of teachers, school leaders

April 30, 2021 – To further support the professional growth of educators, the Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with the Philippine Normal University (PNU) to provide professional development of teachers, academic supervisors, and school leaders.

In the virtual ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last April 14, 2021, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones highlighted that the collaboration with PNU is part of the Department’s commitment to upskill and reskill teachers nationwide.

“It is but appropriate that we finally formalize this friendship, this partnership, this professional exchange of knowledge and ideas as we face the challenges of education,” Sec. Briones said.

Under the MOU, DepEd and PNU will work together in the following areas: pre-service teacher education, teacher education and teaching standards, researches and case studies, in-service continuing professional education of teachers, school leaders, and academic supervisors, and database of education policies.

“The purpose of the understanding is to primarily identify areas of cooperation between DepEd and PNU pursuant to their respective mandates, towards upgrading the professional development of teachers and school leaders,” Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said.

As one of the areas of cooperation, select DepEd teachers and school leaders will be offered customized graduate degree and diploma programs approved and recognized by the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP).

As an authorized Learning Service Provider of NEAP, the PNU will offer customized programs called Linking Standards & Quality Practice (LiSQuP), a two-year assistance to DepEd to develop and deliver differentiated and standards-based professional development programs with focus on making quality practice common practice among education personnel.

LiSQuP will have 12 Master’s Degree Programs in various specializations, 8 Doctorate Programs in various specializations, and two Executive Programs, and at least 2,800 teachers, school heads, and supervisors will benefit in the initial run of the program.

“This shows that PNU, as the national center for teacher education, is committed to wholeheartedly uphold its mission to nurturing innovative teachers and education leaders in our schools and safeguarding the quality of education in the country,” PNU President Dr. Bert J. Tuga said.


Education stakeholders to convene at SEAMEO Congress 2021

April 29, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) and various key education stakeholders in Southeast Asia will virtually meet at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education (SEAMEO) Congress 2021 to share policy innovations and effective partnerships and cooperation models relating to new learning paradigms in the SEA region.

With the theme, “Transforming Southeast Asian Education, Science and Culture in the Digital Age,” SEAMEO will highlight the sustainable and social development of education in the region amidst digital transformation during the two-day virtual event on April 28 to 29.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones is expected to deliver a message during the ministerial panel on April 29, while Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio will serve as a panelist for Parallel Session 2 sub-theme A on Eradicating Barriers of Learning: Coping and Addressing Inequality on April 28.

In addition, DepEd-International Cooperation Office (ICO) Director Margarita Ballesteros will serve as moderator for Session C: Research on Digital Learning during the first day of the Conference.  

“SEAMEO Congress 2021 will bring together a diverse set of actors from government organizations, educational institutions, development agencies, and industries to discuss perspectives on how to transform education, science, and culture amidst new challenges of the digital age,” Director Ballesteros said.

A regional plan of action for transformative education pillars will be defined through extensive discussions among partners, co-organizers, resource persons, experts, and participants during the event.

The regional action plan is expected to contribute to the new decade of the SEAMEO Strategic Plan (2021-2030) to prepare teachers and learners to thrive in the digital era and to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) in 2030.

The SEAMEO Congress 2021 is for free and open for everyone.

As of April 20, 2021, the Congress has more than 15,000 participants, composed of policymakers, presidents/directors of educational institutions, researchers, teachers, and students from 65 countries.

DepEd is a Bronze Partner to the event to support the participation of DepEd personnel in the Congress.

The event is organized by SEAMEO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Malaysia, and the Ministry of Education, Thailand.