Briones to teachers: Open new paths, but always stick to the truth
MANILA, Philippines – Education Secretary Leonor Briones challenged teachers to "always stick to the truth" as they "open new and exciting paths" for learners.
"Our challenge is, we open new and exciting paths, but we must always stick to the truth," Briones said on Tuesday, November 28, during Rappler's public forum, "Truth, Trust, and Democracy in the Age of Selfies, Trolls, and Bots."
She added: "Hopefully, we'll learn and know more about our country and love our country, we discover things never known before... we learn skills never had before, and we make better human beings and citizens of the country, and imbibe the ideals of truth, trust, and democracy."
During her 30-minute speech, Briones talked about truth in teaching and governance, and discussed the challenges in her department involving textbooks, equipment, budget underspending, teachers' salaries, and indigenous peoples' schools.
"Ako (As for me), I'm willing to suffer for the truth, because that is what I was brought up in. And so they're expected also to tell the truth, and we hope that teachers will tell the truth about what they're teaching and what their conditions are," she explained.
Briones said teachers' personal lives must also reflect the truth for the sake of the learners. (READ: Fake news 'not just about politics,' also impacts daily decision-making)
"Kasi paano tayo paniniwalaan ng ating mga learners? Kayong mga bata, 'di ba, idol na idol 'nyo ang teacher ninyo? So kailangan we have to have truth in our personal lives as well," she added.
(How will our learners believe in us? You children, you idolize your teachers, right? So we have to have truth in our personal lives as well.)
She pointed out that throughout history, the most well-loved and the most brilliant humans are teachers. She even cited in her speech the likes of Gautama Buddha, Muhammad, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Jesus Christ.
"And in their personal lives, all of them suffered for the truth, all of them gave up their entire lives sharing and telling the truth," Briones said.
Before ending her speech, Briones shared several quotes, from Nelson Mandela's "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world," to her own quote delivered before the United Nations, when she talked about the displacement of learners in Marawi City.
"I told the United Nations that whatever happens, whether there is war, whether there is peace, whether you have earthquakes, whether you have typhoons, education must continue," she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
"And we have endeavored to do that. We have endeavored to do that for the Marawi children, for the indigenous peoples' children, and for the victims also of calamities. Education will not stop, whatever happens." – Rappler.com