Vice President Sara Duterte on Monday started her stint as Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) by naming her predecessor, Leonor Briones, as her consultant.
"She was always generous with her advice. And I’m truly happy that she committed to stay on as a consultant for the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Education," Duterte said.
The new Education chief lauded the department's workforce led by Briones for continuing to provide quality education to learners.
"Headed by Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, DepEd adopted and implemented bold, but necessary measures to provide Filipino children with accessible, quality education, ensuring that learning is unhampered, and our learners are not left out, while also ensuring the economic welfare of our teachers and the non-teaching personnel working under the organization," she said.
"Secretary Liling is a force, and I am humbled and honored to follow the footsteps of a much admired academic, public servant, social activist and changemaker. I would also like to acknowledge the equally devoted men and women, our undersecretaries, assistant secretaries who supported Ma’am Liling in the last six years," she added.
Duterte hailed Briones for being always a dedicated and committed public servant who is selfless and committed to her job even amid immense pressure.
"Secretary Liling and the whole Department of Education organization never cowered in the face of disapproval, public frustration and pressure. When some sectors called for an academic freeze, the response was academic ease. It was a brilliant, appropriate and timely response, made with will and resolve and foresight that our children’s learning is shielded from the adverse impacts of the pandemic," she said.
Duterte then credited Briones for the full implementation of the senior high school program which "provides graduates with necessary skills relevant in today’s dynamic workforce."
"Indeed, you have broken a glass ceiling in Philippine education history. Ma’am Liling, you have completed your mission, you fought the good fight, and we are all here today to celebrate the victories that you and the entire Department of Education have collected over the past six years of the Duterte administration," she said.
"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 your grace," she added.
The new DepEd chief, however, conceded that work does not get easier.
"I will also take the task with the reminder that we shall continue to find ways to improve basic education in terms of access, quality, equality, resiliency and governance. To produce learners who can achieve their full potential, as individuals who are responsible, skilled, knowledgeable, productive and determined to achieve their dreams for themselves and for our country," she said.
"We look forward to working with you as we take on the task of helping our children become our country’s assets," she added.—LDF, GMA News