Atty. Leni Robredo delivers 38th Fr. Gonzales, O.P Memorial Lecture

Former Vice President and lawyer Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo delivered the 38th Fr. Antonio Gonzales, O.P Memorial Lecture, held at Dr. Robert C. Sy Grand Ballroom, Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building last April 19.

Organized by the Department of Secondary Education, the occasion served as the initial salvo leading to the fortnight-long 98th Founding Anniversary of the College of Education, with the theme “EduGREATat98: Gratitude, Resilience and Excellence Amidst Transitions.”

In his Opening Remarks, Asst. Prof. John Christian C. Valeroso, LPT, PhD, chair of the Department of Secondary Education pointed out that beyond the original meaning of LPT, or Licensed Professional Teacher, it should mean “Leader na may Pagmamahal sa Tao,” reflecting the true role of teachers in our society.

Robredo expressed that it is humbling to be given a “chance to share with you our lived experiences as we strive to contribute in achieving the fulfillment of our hopes, particularly through our education initiatives.”

“Maliit lang naman po ang mga education initiatives namin, pero ‘yung aming aspiration ay sana kahit paano maka-contribute to the transformation of our educational system,” she said.

The 14th vice president of the country mentioned “invitations from academic institutions, think tanks, and organizations who have taken a special interest on hearing the Filipino story.”

These include the Obama Foundation Democracy Forum in New York, USA, the Asia Society Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, and the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy.

Robredo, chairperson and president of Angat Buhay: Partnerships Against Poverty, related volunteers’ efforts in building makeshift classrooms for early grade learners, putting up dormitories in public high schools, after finding out that students drop out because they live far from the school, training parents to install backyard farming so their children will eat nutritious food.

Ending her lecture ‘Community and our shared dreams for the Filipino youth,’ Robredo said she chose to keep faith in the Filipino solidarity and is looking forward to a partnership with the College of Education and the whole Thomasian community. 

Assoc. Prof. Jeremaiah Opiniano, PhD, director of UST Research Center for Social Sciences and Education, Prof. Clarita Carillo, LPT, PhD, Assistant to the Rector for Planning and Quality Management, and Ms. Ma. Bianca Lourize V. Franco, president of Student Teachers’ Association of served as reactors.

In her Closing Remarks, College of Education Dean Assoc. Prof. Pilar Romero, LPT, PhD, revealed that “Liwanag sa Dilim,” a song popular during the campaign for the last national elections, resonated “with us not only because it was our anthem, but because it speaks of our core, that as Thomasians we are called to bring the light of truth to dispel the darkness of ignorance.”

The events for the College of Education’s 98th Foundation Anniversary lasted from April 19 to May 14.

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