Mendoza: Savoring the historic SHS commencement

THE whole DepEd community in the country conducted the historic first graduation ceremony for the Senior High School graduates. This Corner is sharing this inspiring post by Director Joyce Andaya of the Bureau of Curriculum and Development, DepEd Central Office.

As I stood witness to the first ever historic Senior High School commencement exercises, and watched students proudly marching to receive their diplomas, I remember those who had the tenacity, the steely resolve, the fiery determination to push the K to 12 program forward, in spite of and despite several naysayers and criticisms.

I have met several parents with hearts pregnant with hope and promise because their children will be offered jobs right after graduation.

I spoke with several students who were proudly displaying their NCs and telling me how grateful they are to go through Senior High.

I share the joy of another student who said he is ready to put up his salon “sa silong ng bahay nila habang pinag iipunan nya ang kanyang pang- kolehiyo,” because he has earned his NC in beauty and nail care as well as hairdressing.

I have received texts from school principals sharing the good news that 100 percent of their students taking up techvoc have been offered jobs after graduation.

There are other stories as compelling as those I have learned. Stories of promise, of hope, of positive vibes.

The same joy, perhaps, that enveloped the framers when they pursued this path. All because they wanted every Filipino child to have a fighting chance at a decent and better future.

Thank you Secretary Br. Armin Luistro for staring fear in the face and not backing down amidst criticisms.

Thank you to your team for their courage to fork new roads in support of the program and for their dedication and commitment. Thank you for giving all their “heart and nerve and sinew” so we can finish what needed to be finished.

Thank you Secretary Leoneor Magtolis Briones for your full and unequivocal support of the program. When the baton of leadership was passed on to you, there was no equivocation; there was embrace of the enormous responsibility that has fallen on your lap. And you embraced the challenge unequivocally. Fully.

Thank you to your team for finding ways to move the Kto12 program to the next level.

Thank you to the countless, nameless, faceless men and women of DepEd who gave their support through various means.

Sure. There is more work to be done; innumerable challenges to hurdle so all Filipino children can be served.

Sure. Many more criticisms will come our way.

But today, I savor small victories. Today, I look back with gratitude.

Tomorrow, I work again together with all others committed to the cause of children’s education. Because education must continue and children cannot wait.

Tomorrow, I will again bear in mind what a former Usec said: “what little things we do today for the children will matter in the people they will become tomorrow.

Today, I heave a sigh of relief. #parasabataparasabayan
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