In preparation for the conduct of the National Achievement Test (NAT) in March next year, the Department of Education will conduct a pre-NAT seminar workshop to set the rules on the administration of the NAT and to ensure the security of the test materials.
“We will conduct a seminar to be attended by division testing coordinators and private school supervisors for the smooth conduct of the test and put safeguards to ensure the integrity of the exam,” said Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
Among the key points to be discussed in the seminar workshop are: proper conduct of the test, security of test materials, delivery and retrieval schemes, as well as allocation of test materials.
NAT is given towards the end of each school year to gauge the academic performance in key subjects of elementary and secondary students in both public and private schools.
NAT is administered by DepEd’s National Education Testing and Research Center (NETRC). According to Dr. Nelia Benito of NETRC there will be some changes in the conduct of NAT next year in preparation for future enhancement of the basic education curriculum.
Benito said that NAT will be taken by fourth year high school students both in public and private schools instead of second year high school students.
“In next year’s NAT, fourth year high school students will take the exam to give us feedback on the students’ knowledge gain after the ten-year basic education cycle. The result will also be used as input for the K to 12 program,” explained Benito.
NAT will also be taken by Grade 3 pupils of public schools, Madrasah schools and pilot schools of mother tongue-based multi-lingual education.
Meanwhile, DepEd said it is inviting local education stakeholders such as the local government units, civic groups and non-government organizations to be part of the monitoring group to ensure the smooth conduct of NAT next year.
The Department of Education has released guidelines on the use of funds to develop learning materials for schools offering mother-tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE).
Mother tongue-based education prescribes the use of the language learners speak at home in delivering lessons and in classroom discussions. MTB-MLE is implemented from pre-school up to Grade 3 and in the alternative learning system.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said “producing educational materials that suit the specific needs of learners will result to better learning outcomes.”
Luistro explained that DepEd came up with the guideline to synchronize and decentralize the production of indigenized teaching and learning materials as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of the MTB-MLE.
Local and international studies show that the use of the learner’s mother tongue or the language used at home is the most effective medium of learning. “It is the easiest way for children to access the unfamiliar world of school learning,” Luistro explained.
Educators say that when the use of mother tongue is discarded in favor of an unfamiliar language upon the children’s entry into grade school, the learners lose interest in their studies because there is a disconnect in the language used at home and in school.
Based on DepEd Order 90, the types of learning materials to be developed are story books in big and small book formats; flash/activity cards using letters and numbers; basic sight words (grade level words and picture dictionary; and thematic picture chart for oral literacy.
The guidelines also specified that 50% of the allocated funds should go to the development and reproduction of the teaching and learning materials; 20% for monitoring and evaluation; 15% for research and 15% for transportation.
DepEd piloted the implementation of MTB-MLE in school year 2010-2011 in 879 public elementary schools nationwide. As of November 2011 some 2,288 field officials, non-government organizations, local government units, parent-teacher-community associations and teachers have been trained to ensure the effective integration of this initiative into the curriculum.
The languages used for instruction and learning under the MTB-MLE include Iloko, Pangasinense, Kalangoyan, Kapampangan, Sambal, Tagalog, Minangyan, Bikol, Hiligaynon, Aklanon, Cebuano, Waray-Waray, Chavacano, Yakan, T’Boli, Surigaonon, Adasen, Bunungan, In Laud, Maranao and Maguindanaon.
The Department of Education gives recognition to 144 public schools which displayed exemplary performance in mobilizing community participation for the Brigada Eskwela – an annual pre- school opening maintenance activity.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the Brigada Eskwela is a fine example of how various sectors of the community become one under the banner of education.
“I believe that when it comes to education, people are naturally moved to work as one,” added Luistro.
Brigada Eskwela is a school maintenance program that engages education stakeholders both in the government and the private sector to contribute their time, resources and effort to spruce up public schools before class opening.
This year, Brigada Eskwela generated over P1 billion worth of repair, construction and maintenance support, as well as volunteer services.
Based on performance monitoring and evaluation of 45,625 public schools nationwide, some 144 schools were identified as Best School Implementers of Brigada Eskwela this year. Of these exemplary schools, 70 are from Luzon, 30 are from Visayas and 44 schools are from Mindanao. These schools were formally recognized in ceremonies at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas office in Manila.
Meanwhile, DepEd has elevated to the Brigada Eskwela Hall of Fame schools those which have sustained their accomplishments for three consecutive years. A total of 39 schools qualified for this award. They were singled out based on the scope of repair and maintenance work the schools have completed, the construction materials they have generated, volunteer man-days mobilized and over-all impact of the undertaking in the physical improvement of the schools.
Luistro gave the award together with BSP Monetary Board member Felipe Medalla and DepEd Assistant Secretary Reynaldo Laguda. The event was attended by some 700 LGU officials, Adopt-A-School program coordinators, school officials, parents, teachers and guests from the private sector.
The Department of Education acknowledges the commendation of a labor group which advocates the ban of asbestos in schools saying the department is continuously exhausting all means to ensure the safety of schools for learners and teachers.
The Associated Labor Union (ALU) has commended DepEd for its positive response to its call last month to remove asbestos-containing wire gauzes from public high schools, stopping further exposure of millions of students and teachers nationwide.
The discovery of a wire gauze used in schools, colleges and universities that contains 3 per cent Chrysotile asbestos lead to the call to phase out wire gauzes laden with cancer-causing asbestos mineral.
Asbestos is already banned in 54 countries due to its proven carcinogenic effect among people who get exposed to it.
“Part of our mandate is to ensure that the learning environment does not pose any kind of threat to the well-being of our students and school officials,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said.
ALU has called the attention of Luistro to act swiftly on its call to save millions of students, teachers, non-teaching personnel and communities from primary and secondary exposure to the very dangerous asbestos dusts that cause cancer and other incurable diseases.
DepEd is currently taking the necessary steps toward the eventual phase out of the use of wire gauze and other school equipment that may be found laden with the hazardous mineral.
At the same time, it is also initiating efforts to explore safer alternatives for the asbestos-laden wire gauze. Luistro added that DepEd will be issuing a memorandum to all schools on the proper handling and disposal of wire gauzes.
“We have done the same in the case of mercury and mercury-laden gadgets and equipment, which is being phased out in all Philippine schools, including school clinics,” explained Luistro.
The Department of Education is providing some P27 million in subsidy to the country’s special science elementary schools (SSES) nationwide in line with its thrust to further strengthen the teaching of the sciences in schools.
Of the country’s 200 SSES, 103 schools will receive the subsidy. The rest will get their financial support from the Special Education fund.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the subsidy will mainly go to the enhancement of the capability of science teachers which is a critical input in producing high-caliber science students.
“ It is important that we invest in the enrichment of our teachers’ mentoring skills specially in the field of sciences because it will have a bearing on the kind of science-oriented graduates we produce,” said Luistro.
Based on DepEd Memo No. 88, 40% of the allotment will go to the enhancement of the capability of teachers and school heads through their participation in conferences, trainings, seminars and immersion training in science-oriented schools. On the other hand, 25% will go to the development of pupil activities such as investigatory projects, leadership trainings, workshops, educational visits and participation in science-related activities.
Another 25% is for the procurement of reference books, textbooks, psychological tests, video materials and software in Science, Mathematics and English as well as materials, gadgets devices, apparatuses including provision for repairs. Five percent each will go the payment of internet subscription and for the organization of science-oriented classes.
The strengthening of the teaching of Math and Science in public schools is one of the priority thrusts of the Aquino government.
The organization of SSES started in 2006. It is now on its 5th year with presence in 16 regions of the country.
The Department of Education assured that there are enough funds to repair all damages caused by typhoons Pedring and Quiel in over 1,000 schools in seven affected regions.
According to the final damage report released by the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, the total validated cost of repair is placed at P341.3M.
Of this amount, P31.9M (9%) represents minor damages, the repairs of which have all been completed. Other damaged items such as textbooks, information and communication technology (ICT) equipment, furniture and others, which have, as well, been replaced, accounted for P4.3M (1%).
“All minor repairs have been completed at this time. Our school officials charged minor repairs against their respective school’s maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and School Based Repair and Maintenance (SBM) funds. We also received assistance from parents-teachers associations (PTAs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and local government units (LGUs) in the affected areas,” said Luistro.
Meanwhile, major damages amounting to P305.2M (90%) are all covered with budget allocations. Funding sources include P120M from DepEd’s remaining Quick Response Fund (QRF) for 2011, P100M funding request from the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), and over P85M pooled from the agency’s savings.
“While no actual major repair has been completed, we have started the bidding process while awaiting downloading of funds and we are confident that all repairs will be finished by the end of the year,” Luistro assured.
The seven regions heavily affected by typhoons Pedring and Quiel are Regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 5, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and National Capital Region (NCR).
The Department of Education announced today (November 17) that Pangasinan will be the host of the 2012 Palarong Pambansa.
According to Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Pangasinan was chosen after a tedious selection process conducted by the technical committee.
“In terms of sports facilities, billeting and others, the top contender for us as discussed in the group and validated by individual scores that each of the deliberators gave, we would like to congratulate theprovinceofPangasinanfor winning the hosting of Palaro 2012,” Luistro said.
Other LGU bidders for the 2012 Palarong Pambansa whom Luistro thanked for their presentations wereMarikinaand Laguna.
“As an overall assessment of the 3 bids, we are very, very happy to announce that all three presented themselves as very ready for Palaro 2012. If it is possible, we would have three hosts for Palaro, but since that is not possible, the committee had to choose one with the hope that the other two can offer their facilities and organization in the future,” said Luistro.
DepEd is set to formalize the agreement with theprovinceofPangasinanthrough the signing of a memorandum of agreement to be scheduled in the next two weeks and upon the submission of required documents.
The Palarong Pambansa is an annual multi-sport event participated in by over 10,000 student athletes representing various regions nationwide. It is a scholastic athletic competition that serves as a means to promote Physical Education and Sports as an integral part of the Basic Education Curriculum and as an affirmation to the school’s commitment to the full development of the great potentials of the youth to become responsible and globally competitive citizens of the nation.
More than 63,000 undernourished school children who have difficulty learning because they come to class on an empty stomach are benefitting from the breakfast feeding program which the Department of Education is implementing for school year 2011-2012.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the feeding program aims to address undernutrition and short-term hunger syndrome among public school children who do not eat breakfast and walk long distance to reach school.
“This is the most vulnerable group of children who have difficulty paying attention to the lessons in class because of hunger and are in danger of dropping out if no intervention is made, “said Luistro.
The program was initially implemented in Pangasinan, Bohol and Lanao del Norte. It will be expanded to 15 more divisions during the school year based on the prevalence of undernutrition in these divisions and the capability of school heads to manage and administer the program. The new beneficiaries are schools from the divisions of Quirino, Zambales, Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Sorsogon, Kabankalan City, Bacolod City, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Zamboanga del Norte, Davao Oriental, Sultan Kudarat, Surigao del Norte, Kalinga, Maguindanao, and Quezon City.
The target is to bring back to good nutritional status at least 70% of the beneficiaries at the end of the 100-120 feeding days.
“Our specific objective is to ensure 85 to 100% attendance among the target pupils and improve their health and nutrition values and behavior,” the education chief explained.
The breakfast feeding program was first implemented in 1997 and has since shifted to address a more serious problem of undernutrition – a global concern because it commonly causes death among children.
According to the 2010 report of DepEd’s Health and Nutrition Center, 15.58% of children in public elementary schools are undernourished. This condition, which according to the World Health Organization is preventable, have ill-effects on the academic performance of school children.
Due to popular demand from students, parents, and school officials, the Department of Education issued DepEd Memorandum (DM) No. 257, series of 2011 that will allow a synchronized administration of a Special National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE).
The special administration of NCAE shall coincide with the conduct of the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) on November 20, 2011 (Sunday) for Luzon examinees and on November 27, 2011 (Sunday) for Visayas and Mindanao examinees.
Division Testing Coordinators (DTC) are instructed to consolidate the requests from public and private schools and shall provide National Educational Test and Research Center (NETRC) with the final list of the of the Special NCAE examinees by November 14 for Luzon and November 21 for Visayas and Mindanao.
DM No. 257, s. 2011, also specifies that the Testing Centers for PEPT shall also serve as venues for the administration of the Special NCAE. Further, the examinees for Special NCAE shall have a separate room preferably at the last room for identification purposes.
For more information, please contact the National Education Testing and Research Center (NETRC) at telephone no.: (02) 631-2571 or visit this Office at the 2nd Floor, Mabini Bldg., DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.
The Department of Education issued DepEd Order Number 86, series of 2011, “Synchronizing with the Philippine Standard Time,” directing all school officials nationwide to synchronize with the Philippine Standard Time (PST) so that all school-based activities are conducted simultaneously.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said this is an important move because it will add to work efficiency and better time management. “Time is a very precious resource which we tend to take for granted. If we are all guided by the Philippine standard time, then our work will be in sync and we can optimize use of time spent in school,” he explained.
To synchronize activities of DepEd from the central office to the school level, all offices are directed to set all clocks inside offices and school properties including time recording devices to match the PST established by the Department of Science and Technology through the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
The time in hours, minutes and seconds is displayed in PAGASA’s website http://www.pagasa.dost,gov.ph.
Luistro emphasized in the memo that all class schedules, meetings, activities and events should be based on the PST and that these schedules must start and end on time.
The DepEd family is one with the nation in changing the concept of “Filipino time” to being “on time” said Luistro.
The PAGASA is mandated by Section 6 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 8 to be the country’s official time keeper. The PST is set using the DOST-PAGASA’s timing system consisting of a rubidium atomic clock, Global Positioning System receiver, time interval counter, distribution amplifier, and a computer.