Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones recently emphasized the importance of contemporizing culture and the arts with science and technology to further advance the educational system in the country.
The Education chief noted this during the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Philippine World Heritage Sites Mobile Exhibition last February 26 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Central Office in Pasig City.
“If we only concentrate in catching up with science and technology, but forget about our history, Culture and the arts, then where will we get our soul? Our soul as Filipinos come from those and these make us distinct and different from other ASEAN member-countries, even as we have strong similarities,” Briones said.
She further mentioned that the arts and design, and sports tracks under the K to 12 curriculum are equally important as the mainstream academic and technical-vocational-livelihood tracks.
“We have to make them aware that it pays to be a writer, a dancer, a designer; it pays to be in ‘art.’ And it also even pays to be a boxer,” she added.
Briones conveyed her gratitude to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA), which provided the Department with four mobile exhibits to be used in promoting awareness on ASEAN and the Philippine World Heritage Sites.
“We look forward to showing and sharing these exhibits to different regions, especially to places where these exhibits will be most informative and will bring greater awareness. But we should not limit ourselves only to the urban centers but in many other schools, which we are not even aware of and in areas where there are continuous challenges to our identity,” Briones stated.
“We see these exhibits as one of the windows of the world for ASEAN through fascinating in diverse cultures to our friends in Asia, who share many similarities to our own culture and at the same time offer many, cultural places that are uniquely their own,” DepEd-International Cooperation Office (ICO) Director Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros said.
The mobile exhibition panels include: Southeast Asian Art and Culture (ideas, forms, and societies); Foodlore and Flavors (inside Southeast Asian Kitchen); Celebrating the Source (water festivities of Southeast Asia); and Living Landscapes and Cultural Landmarks (World Heritage Sites in the Philippines).
The exhibit is open for viewing to all DepEd employees, students, and the general public at the Bulwagan ng Karunugan, DepEd-CO until March 9, Friday, and will be toured to the 17 DepEd Regional Offices, and selected Division Offices and schools within the year. During the exhibit tour, 53,265 ASEAN Primers, given by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), will be distributed to students. Moreover, 150,000 printed copies of the ASEAN Charter, given by the DFA as well and translated in Filipino, Cebuano, and Ilokano, will be distributed.
“The Philippines can be proud of the diversity and wealth of our culture molded through the centuries by the many influences that have touched our lives, which gave us a nation with unique culture identity,” Ballesteros concluded.