Champions of science education have received righteous recognition of their many contributions in the field during the 3rd Gawad Leadership and Innovations for Development Relevant to Science Education (Gawad LIDER) Awarding Ceremony. 

Conferred with the Exemplary Leadership Awards were Dr. Luis Rey I. Velasco, renowned entomologist and former Chancellor of the University of the Philippines - Los Banos (UPLB) for the Individual category, and ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. (AFI) E-Media Group, the foundation's education arm, for the Institution category. 

The Gawad LIDER Award is a biennial recognition given by the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) to individuals and groups who have made significant contributions in the development of science education in the country. 

Dr. Velasco is well-known as an administrator and researcher who has been a recipient of numerous local and international awards for his scientific research in agriculture and its related disciplines. In 2011, he was bestowed the Dioscoro L. Umali Medal for Outstanding Science Administrator by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). 

Meanwhile, AFI's E-media has been known for producing quality educational programs for the youth such as Sine'skwela, Mathinik, Hirayamanawari, Bayani, Epol/Apple, Pahina, Silip, and I Got It, setting a new realm for effective learning in science. Through it's radio show, Bago 'Yan Ah!, it has utilized radio as an innovative medium to introduce lessons in science and technology hence widely reaching the poor, middle and high-income classes. 

DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, Undersecretary Fortunato T. De la Pena, and SEI Director Dr. Filma G. Brawner handed out the medals, certificates and a cash prize of P200,000 tax-free to the awardees in the Awarding Ceremony held recently. 

The Exemplary Leadership Award is conferred to individuals and institutions/organizations that have consistently demonstrated leadership qualities leading to improvements in the field of education in the sciences which have generated nationwide impact. 

Brawner extended her congratulations and gratitude to the awardees who have truly demonstrated leadership in promoting a science culture among their constituents/audiences in various innovative ways. 

"Their efforts are enormous in terms of its impact towards the field of research and educational entertainment. They indeed brought science closer to the hearts of their constituents and audiences and these awards are given to them in recognition of their commitment to science education," Brawner said. 

Brawner also hopes that through honoring science education champions in the country, more individuals and organizations will be inspired to take the lead in helping improve the state of science education in the country. 

"As we acknowledge exemplary leadership to improve S&T education, we are optimistic that the work done by the winners of the Gawad LIDER would inspire others to follow their footsteps and bring about development in the country through science education," she said.(30)