By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that among the priorities of the Department of Education (DepEd) this coming School Year (SY) 2019-2020 is to push for initiatives that will help “strike a balance” between hard sciences and social sciences in the basic education curriculum.
Aside from addressing gaps in access and initiatives towards quality, Briones said that DepEd will also focus on “striking a balance” between hard sciences and soft or social sciences. “While were picking up on Science and Technology, we should not forget sports, culture, and history,” she said in an interview with the Manila Bulletin.
The department, Briones added, will also work on balancing the capacities of schools and teachers from different regions. “The outlook of the government at this time is three years so we have to work harder to achieve the targets on or before the end of the administration,” she added.
Amid concerns on the readiness of public schools to accommodate millions of students this coming school year, Briones noted that the department is doing its best to ensure that learners from the public school system are able to catch up with their counterparts in private schools.
In fact, Briones noted that many students from public schools “now winning in international competitions” because access and quality are continuously being addressed. For instance, she mentioned students from public schools who recently represented the country in an international fair.
Earlier, DepEd lauded 12 student-delegates to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). The Philippine delegates to the world’s largest pre-college science competition held in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States of America from May 12 to 17 consist of the winners of the DepEd 2019 National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) namely: Maryjoise Karla Buan of Pangasinan National High School; Lester Joy Sabadao, Lia Denise Tan, and Alpha Kassandra Leonille Acain of Cagayan National High School; Shaira Gozun, Neil David Cayanan, and E’van Relle Tongol of Angeles City Science High School; Nathaniel Reyes of Quezon National High School; Maria Isabel Layson of Iloilo National High School; and Kathleen Chloie Antonio, Anna Beatriz Suavengco, and John Eric Aggarao of Taguig Science High School. All of them shared their greatest experiences in the international event. The team of Cayanan, Tongol, and Gozun bagged an honorable mention with their project called “Hibla: An Alternative Sound Absorption Material.”
Briones said that the young scientists delivered a strong performance in the competition and urged them to “change their school and community for the better.”
With the ongoing review of the K to 12 curriculum, Briones assured that the department will look into ways to further instill among the learners the importance of history, literature, culture and the like. She further emphasized that “even as we focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we must not forget that we are Filipinos and we have a history and multi-varied culture all over the country.”
Despite advances in modern technology, Briones reiterated that it is equally important to focus as well on the social sciences or the so-called soft sciences. “I believe this is possible because we don’t have to neglect one for the other,” she ended.