By Deighton Acuin


Amid challenges confronting the education sector, the youth — particularly the students — must practice rational thinking at all times, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said Friday.

Briones made the statement when asked by Region X Supreme Student Government (SSG) President Queenie Joy Cabatingan about her expectations of today’s students.

“I expect our learners to have the capacity to reason, and think rationally,” Briones said.

She underscored the importance of thinking critically and rationally among students amid the present challenges in youth participation particularly the presence of fake news and misinformation.

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.

Secretary Briones also answered questions of the student-leaders related to academic ease measures, sports event plans, future of education, learning continuity initiatives – among others.

For instance, Briones 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.

“Even if there is no pandemic, there are places without connectivity, we also still have schools without books,” Briones said in Filipino.

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.

During the event, Briones also 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. “Many of our policies come from the youth, through consultation, but what we want to do is for formalize these through your federations,” she added.

Meanwhile, National Federation of SSG President Ken Bien Mar Caballes said it was 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.”

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