Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones (File photo)

LIPA CITY, Batangas – The Department of Education (DepEd) has lauded the efforts of the local government unit of Batangas to build facilities that will further advance learning among its young residents.

In a statement on Tuesday, the agency said Secretary Leonor Briones joined the inauguration of numerous school buildings and facilities at the Basilio Fernando Air Base Civilian Education Center here on March 10.

“I would like to congratulate all of you. 'Yong lahat ng nag-contribute nitong isang konsepto na ito na napakaganda, at napaka-useful para sa edukasyon. Ito 'yong integrated na approach. Isang campus, isang administrasyon, at isang lugar kung saan lahat ng lebel ng edukasyon ay available (All who contributed to this one concept. This is integrated approach. One campus, one place where all levels of education is available),” Briones said during the inauguration.

She hailed the initiative of the proponents of the project as well as the local community.

“May initiative ang ating congressman, ang ating senador, ang ating airbase, at ang ating community. Maraming salamat na in-appreciate pa rin natin ang value at importance ng education para sa ating learners (There is initiative by our congressman, senator, airbase, and our community. Thank you very much for appreciating the value and importance of education for our learners),” Briones added.

The Fernando Airbase Elementary School received two four-story buildings with 32 classrooms that will cater to some 1,280 learners. It also accepted a school gym and a multi-purpose facility equipped with automatic fire sprinkler system.

Meanwhile, the Fernando Airbase Integrated National High School acquired four four-story buildings with 80 classrooms that can accommodate almost 3,200 students, a school gym, and a multi-purpose facility.

On the other hand, the Philippine State College of Aeronautics (PHILSCA) received a school building with 21 classrooms, a gym, and a multi-purpose building big enough for 840 learners.

These projects are part of the education assistance of the Batangas LGU to provide a better, safer, and more comfortable learning environment for its constituents.

The education center was completed four years after the Philippine Air Force (PAF), DepEd – Division of Lipa City, and PHILSCA inked the memorandum of agreement to push through with the development. The project is one of the initiatives of Batangas 6th District Representative Vilma Santos-Recto and Senator Ralph Recto.

“Let us invest not only in our facilities. Pero, ang pinakamahalaga ay 'yong ating mga guro. Kayong mga guro rito, ang hamon sa inyo rin (But the most important is our teachers. For you, mentors, the challenge is) to inspire your students to be the best that they can be. 'Yan ang susi, 'yan ang solusyon sa ating edukasyon (That is the key, that is the solution to education), to inspire your students,” Sen. Recto said.

Briones also encouraged the teachers and other education stakeholders to think about the future of education and assist the learners with appropriate learning materials based on their needs.

“We need to do something because the future cannot wait for us. Every day, something new is happening, and we have to keep track. This is the challenge for all of us,” she noted. (PR)