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EDUCATION Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones has cited the vital role and importance of science and technology in today’s technological and economic growth.


Briones represented President Rodrigo Duterte as keynote speaker at the opening rites of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration that opened on July 17 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, and runs until July 21.


This year’s NSTW theme is “Science for the people — Enabling Technologies for Sustainable Development.” DOST Secretary Fortunato De la Pena presided over the opening celebration’s program.


The education secretary said Duterte “is very consistently supportive” of DOST programs and proposals “and education as well.” She said that the president encourages science enthusiasts to be competitive not only in the country but in other countries.


Briones’ speech which highlighted the week’s opening program, noted that the United Nations identifies three major aspects of human development by which a country’s progress is measured. These are access to quality education which greatly contributes to growth, level of the population’s health, and national income.


These three components, she said, “have to be attained within the framework of sustainable development and never at the expense of our environment and future generations who will suffer the abuse of nature.”


The Education Secretary lauded the graduates of science high schools who have been representing the Philippines in international competitions and winning honors for their country. She noted that the winners are not only from urban areas but science schools in far-flung provinces like the Mindanao State University MSU). Many science student-enthusiasts have also qualified as DOST scholars.


Briones pointed out that science and technology have made it easier to teach Mathematics, citing what is now trending in YouTube and social media – the Math Sayaw “which makes it exciting to teach” the subject. She described science and technology in general “as fun, cool.”


De la Pena said NSTW is observed yearly to showcase DOST’s various initiatives and programs aimed at addressing society’s needs, and show how science and technology are woven into the fabric of people’s everyday life.


“This year we took NSTW into a higher level but still anchored on the everyday life of Filipinos. This year’s theme makes us look at how science and technology can help us achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development clause in 2030,” he explained.


Various products developed and created using science and technology as tools are currently on display at the World Trade Center until Sunday, July 21. (Janet Rebusio-Ducayag)

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