By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Wednesday commended students from public high schools for representing the country in a prestigious international science and engineering fair – noting that the Department of Education (DepEd) continues to strengthen the teaching of Science and Technology in the basic education level.
Briones, in a press conference in Malacañang to discuss the preparations for the upcoming opening of classes for the school year 2019-2020 and other updates, said students – especially those from Science High Schools – have been representing the country in various international competitions.
“They have been participating in international contests…when you compete at the world level and you get recognized, that is something to be proud of,” she said.
Recently, the team of 12 junior and senior high school students who represented the Philippines in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2019 met with the department chief in a courtesy call after delivering a strong performance at the competition held last May 12-17 in Arizona, USA.
Briones expressed her admiration to the learners, all of whom came from public schools, for showcasing the remarkable talents and skills of Filipinos in the world’s largest pre-college science competition against more than 1,842 high school students from around 80 countries.
The group of E’van Relle Tongol, Neil David Cayanan, and Shaira Gozun from Angeles City Science High School in Pampanga earned an Honorable Mention from the Acoustical Society of America for their research on “hibla” or natural fiber sourced from abaca, bamboo, and water hyacinth as alternative sound absorption material.
“You still have all the time in the world to change your school and your community, and to train the younger ones,” Briones said.
“Take advantage of the wonderful future that is awaiting you so that you will rebuild the world and teach us teachers, as well,” she added.
Meanwhile, Briones also underscored the need to “strike” a balance between hard science and social sciences – recognizing the need for students to be more informed and exposed to literature, culture the like. ###