“Hone your skills further and closely attend to children who have special learning needs.”
This is the marching order of Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC to some 546 Special Education (SPED) teachers and schools officials who will go on a 27-day intensive summer training to enable them to better attend to the educational needs of children who are gifted and those with learning disabilities.
The training program is for new teacher-scholars for the gifted /talented and those who attend to learners with disability. Also attending are returning teacher-scholars who handle students with visual and hearing impairment, those with intellectual disability, as well as learners with multiple disability with visual impairment (MDVI).
Luistro said it is the mandate of the State to make education accessible to learners with special needs under the inclusive education thrust of the department. “Our end-goal is to bring them to regular schools and guide them to live normal lives,” he added.
The training seminar will be held in three separate venues across the country. The Luzon leg will be from April 16 to May 12 at the Philippine Normal University in Manila to be attended by participants from Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A (CALABARZON), 4-B (MIMAROPA), National Capital Region (NCR), and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
In Mindanao which will happen on the same date as Luzon’s, the venue is the University of South Eastern Philippines in Davao City. This will be attended by teachers from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, CARAGA, and the Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The Visayas leg will be at Cebu Normal University for attendees from Regions 6, 7, and 8. It will run from April 10 to May 5. The training for teachers who minister to children with MDVI is from May 7 to June 1.
Meanwhile, there will also be training for school principals and supervisors to upgrade their competencies in establishing and maintaining viable SPED programs in their jurisdiction.
The scholarship program aims to provide SPED teachers and school officials with knowledge and skills on various educational programs and interventions appropriate for children with special needs.
The Department of Education has entered into an agreement with Rappler, Inc., a media organization of veteran journalists to handle social media campaign and cover the 2012 Palarong Pambansa set in Pangasinan this May.
Education Assistant Secretary and Palarong Pambansa Secretary General Tonisito Umali ESQ and Rappler Managing Director Glenda Gloria signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.
DepEd manages the programs and activities of the Palarong Pambansa, an annual national sporting event participated in by public and private elementary pupils and secondary students. Rappler will cover the event and take on the social media campaign for free.
Rappler is led by professional journalists trained in broadcast, print, and web disciplines who have partnered with young, idealistic digital experts. Some of its initial forays in broadcast and digital journalism include the Los Angeles Galaxy – Azkals game and the live streaming of the press conference between the teams. It also covered the “Fastbreak”, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) fundraiser led by UAAP basketball athletes for the victims of typhoon Sendong and other political and business stories of national significance.
As the online media partner of DepEd for 2012 Palarong Pambansa, Rappler shall provide social media campaign to drum up interest in the Palaro before the start of the games. It will also provide coverage during the actual games, including its key events.
Moreover, Rappler will make available a special 2012 Palarong Pambansa section on Rappler network. The special section shall contain blogs, video, photos and articles on Palaro.
Will a teacher not hold class if there are just a few enrollees? Should a student drop out if the school is far from home or there is not enough teachers and classroom?
If you ask the Department of Education, the answer is no because it continues to find ways to bring children to school in order to complete their basic education.
One of these is the holding of multigrade classes. A multigrade class is a class consisting of two or more different grade levels inside a single grade classroom handled by one teacher for an entire school year. It is offered in elementary schools located in distant and sparsely-populated localities.
Figures from DepEd show that there are close to a million enrollees in multigrade classes across the country.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said most of the students attending multigrade classes are learners who belong to isolated and poor communities, indigenous peoples or those who reside in far-flung mountains and islands where schools are far apart from each other. “This is part of our thrust to democratize access to education and make the learning experience inclusive to as many sectors. In effect, we are bringing more students to school,” he added.
If a class does not meet the required number of enrollees and therefore it is not viable to conduct a class of limited number of pupils, the supposed enrollees are merged into a single class and taught by one teacher,” Luistro explained.
The small number of students for each grade level; the shortage of teachers; the distance from the community to the nearest school; and the inadequacy of funds and classrooms are reasons that necessitate the organization of multigrade classes.
In the Philippine public school system, classes with two grade levels inside a single classroom and handled by the same teacher is called combination classes. Those with three grade levels in one classroom and handled by a single teacher is called a multigrade or multi-level class.
This means that a multigrade classroom mixes children with different skills and abilities, different developmental levels and needs while working together under the guidance of one teacher. “The truth is long before multi-tasking became a buzzword, our teachers were actually already living up to the word,” Luistro said.
While DepEd has always recognized the existence of multi-grade classes it was only in 1990 that the department started to consider the formal organization and continuing operation of multigrade classrooms all over the country in keeping with the goal of Education For All (EFA).
Thus, DepEd continues to invest in teachers’ training, curriculum development and in the preparation of learning materials appropriate for multi-grade classes to improve elementary education especially in underserved and remote areas.
Twenty selected students from Manggahan High School Pasig went on a video conference with students from St. Mark’s Senior Secondary School in New Delhi, India where both sides learned from each others’ religious faith and practices – part of a process that builds understanding and friendship among youth from different parts of the world.
The video conference, the first of its kind to involve Philippine public school students, was part of the Face to Faith Program of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. It was hosted by Xavier School, Face to Faith’s lead school in the Philippines.
Face to Faith enables students of different religions and cultures to discuss their beliefs and traditions with peers from different parts of the world through its network of high schools in 17 countries. Its goal is to teach young people not only about religion, but also about dialogue and peace-building.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said he hopes the Face to Faith video conference can be encouraged in many other schools in the Philippines and in the world to build bridges of friendship instead of distrust and animosity.
“When we get to know the culture, social and religious practices of people not known to us before, the veil of ignorance and mistrust is taken off so that trust and friendship can grow,” said Luistro.
The participation of Manggahan High School in the program was made possible with the signing of an agreement in August last year between Luistro and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The video conference, moderated expertly from the United States by Cory Davis, started with students from India talking about their national and religious festivals of four religious traditions. The Filipino students responded by sharing pictures and stories about religious feasts in the Philippines, as well as regional festivals such as the Mascara, Panagbenga, Pahiyas, Dinagyang, Ati-atihan. It was the first time for the excited Filipino students to actually speak with young Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians from India.
One of the video conference participants identified as Aemielvin Loremia wrote in her blog: “This introduced me to new cultures and it made me sensitive to the customs and etiquette of other people. Face to Faith helps improve the understanding of cultures around the world and helps in developing unity among different countries with different races, religions, and cultures.”
Davis was impressed by the quality of the discussion: “I must say that this was one of the most interesting videoconferences I have done. I think these two schools have kids that can produce a fantastic, genuine dialogue…”
Luistro agrees: “I believe this kind of initiative can transform our students into persons respectful and appreciative of diversity.”
It’s double treat for pre-school children.
After the signing of the Kindergarten Law in January this year which requires that all five-year olds must enroll in kindergarten to properly prepare them for formal school, support comes in from the Japanese government in the form of a US$1.5 million financial assistance.
The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) will provide a grant of US$1,500,000 to enhance access to quality early childhood education in poor communities to the Department of Education (DepEd) which acts as the executing agency.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) administers the JFPR pursuant to an agreement ADB has entered into with the Government of Japan. It will be implemented by the Aklat, Gabay, Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa (AGAPP) Foundation. DepEd and AGAPP shall carry out the JFPR project with due diligence and efficiency as stipulated in the agreement.
The project aims to support DepEd’s K to 12 program particularly in the institutionalization of Kindergarten through classroom constructions, curriculum development and teacher trainings.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said this is a most welcome development because it affirms DepEd’s position on the importance that must be given to basic education particularly early childhood education.
“Kindergarten is a very important building block in producing quality graduates of basic education, so we should really start on a solid footing by preparing our young learners very well,” added Luistro.
The grant will finance expanded access to kindergarten education by providing necessary school infrastructure and facilities. It will also enhance the capacity of teachers by providing them trainings and workshops.
It will likewise engage other education stakeholders in the community by building sustainable partnerships with civil society, corporate sector, and local non-government organizations (NGOs). The grant also allots provision for project monitoring and evaluation.
As the Palarong Pambansa 2012 draws nearer, the Department of Education looks forward to discovering a new batch of skillful athletes to represent the country in international sporting competitions.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC is excited to witness for the second time the Palarong Pambansa, which, for this year, will be hosted by the provincial government of Pangasinan led by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. It will run from May 6-12, and will be participated in by thousands of elementary and secondary students from public and private schools.
“To me, Palarong Pambansa is a special sporting event. For one, the competing athletes are young students who, from pre-competition preparations up to the actual competitions, work doubly hard to make their schools and region proud. And second, this is where we discover extraordinary talents that bring glory to our country,” said Luistro.
Palarong Pambansa has become the breeding ground of some of our great national athletes since it started in 1948.
Among Palarong Pambansa talents are Elma Muros and Lydia de Vega for Athletics; Diane Castillejo for Tennis; Joper Esqueta and Gabriel Magnaye for Badminton; Violito Paylo for Boxing; Enchong Dee and Akiko Thompson for Swimming; Joan Chan for Archery; and Mark Paragua for Chess.
The Palarong Pambansa also prides itself for producing some of the great Philippine Basketball Association players such as Danny Ildefonso, Marlou Aquino, Willie Miller, Samboy Lim, and Kirby Raymundo.
AZKALS players Chiefy Caligdong and Kristopher Camcam are also products of the Palarong Pambansa.
“I always believe in the greatness of Filipinos when it comes to sports. I am confident that a player or two in this year’s Palarong Pambansa will become a world champion in the future,” Luistro said.
The sporting events in this year’s Palarong Pambansa are athletics, arnis, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, gymnastics (women’s artistic gymnastics, men’s artistic gymnastic and rhythmic gymnastics), sipa takraw, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, and volleyball.
For the differently-abled, there is goalball, aquatics, bocce, long jump, shot put and 100, 200, and 400 meter dash.
An estimated 3 million elementary and high school students from public schools across the country will march onstage to receive their diplomas as school year 2011-2012 comes to a close this March.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said the graduating batch is composed of 1,817,549 million elementary pupils and 1,153,643 high school students.
“Our aspiration is for our graduates to have a direct personal stake in nation building using as a tool the education they received from the State,” added Luistro.
The education chief explained that young people today are empowered to participate in the affairs of society more than their counterparts 10 years ago. Luistro observed that because of wider access to information and communication technology which gives them a view of the world at large, they are more creative and are more likely to take part in national issues.
In his graduation message, Luistro said that this year’s graduation theme, “Your Gift of Learning, Our Tool for Nation Building,” extends a timely invitation to every Filipino. “The gift of learning is a universal one offered to every stakeholder in the education sector,” Luistro stressed.
He added that the newly harnessed values, knowledge and skills of the graduating class shall comprise the building blocks of the Filipino society. “The choices you make, the relationships you cultivate, the attitudes you bring to school and work – these erect the pillars and walls of our rising nation. How beautiful and strong you desire this building to be depends a lot on you,” he pointed out.
Luistro reminds the graduates that actions and examples, more than words, leave firmer imprints in the minds of the younger generation. “The integrity we bring into our homes and classrooms become the foundation of our own future. The justice, peace and prosperity we yearn for strongly depend on the truth and faithfulness we invest today,” declared Luistro.
“I hope and pray that over and above each of our personal dreams for ourselves comes the larger dream of a united, fulfilled and prosperous Filipino people, a dream that not only benefits a few, but one that benefits all,” he concludes.
The Department of Education’s Center for Students and Co-Curricular Affairs (CSCA) has come out with an application procedure to guide students who want to apply for the 2012 Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES). There are 150 slots opened by the DepEd Central Office to accommodate qualified student applicants for this program.
SPES is an annual summer employment program that encourages students to make their vacation productive by working during summer thereby earning extra which they can use during regular school days. The program is spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and supported by other government agencies.
Qualified applicants will be employed for forty days and will be paid minimum wage, 60% of which will be paid by DepEd and 40% by DOLE. DepEd SPES will also be given an additional daily allowance on top of their salaries.
The application date is from March 1 to 28, 2012 from 10:00AM to 6:00PM, Monday through Saturday. Qualified to apply are students who are at least 15 years old but not more than 25 years old. He/she must be enrolled this school year (in-school) or if not, must have intention to enroll next school year (out-of-school). The combine annual net income of both parents must not exceed P143,000 and that applicants must have passed all the subjects during the current school year. Moreover, applicants must possess office skills with priority given to those with computer-related skills.
To apply for registration, students must first like the Facebook fanpage of www.facebook.com/csca.deped Applicants must answer the self-assessment test provided in the fanpage and email it to email@example.com. The CSCA will email back the schedule of interview and the applicant’s control number which the applicant must print and bring during the scheduled interview.
The complete requirements to be submitted prior to the interview are: biodata/resume with 2 x 2 recent photo, self-assessment form and birth certificate. For college students-applicants, they must submit recent grades and school registration preferably in the second semester; for high school students, form 138 preferably with fourth grading marks must be submitted. For out-of-school youth, they are required to present grades available before dropping out of school and Certificate of Indigence issued by the barangay where OSY resides.
Also required for submission are income tax returns of both parents. If non-filers of ITR, they must bring an affidavit duly certified by the BIR that the annual net income of both parents does not exceed P143,000.
The Department of Education is opening the door for out of school children and youth to go back to formal school or land a job by offering the 2012 Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT).
“Our modest contribution to nation-building is to give our youth a fighting chance to succeed in life through the placement test,” said Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC.
The test result will determine the grade or year level appropriate for the test taker. PEPT covers all grade/year level from Grade 1 to Fourth Year high school so that takers can have a chance to move to the next grade or year level or even complete basic education in just one examination. “That is possible if they are doing home schooling or if they have acquired enough knowledge and life skills,” Luistro explained.
The exam covers the regular DepEd curriculum which are English, Math, Science and HEKASI for elementary and Araling Panlipunan for high school. They could also be given a certificate of rating attesting that they are qualified to go to high school or college depending on the score they obtain.
Interested parties may register at DepEd’s division offices nationwide from March 5 to May 25, 2012. The documentary requirements are Form 137/138, birth certificate and two 1 x 1 pictures. The division testing coordinators are directed to submit the actual number of registrants to DepEd’s National Educational Testing and Research Center (NETRC).
“We want the test takers to upgrade their academic level so that when they pass, they can re-enter the formal school system, land a job or even get a job promotion,” added Luistro.
PEPT registrants are encouraged to avail of learning modules prepared by the Bureau of Alternative Learning Systems, the Bureau of Elementary Education and the Bureau of Secondary Education or any other learning resources available in DepEd’s regional or division offices. They can use these learning modules to review before the exam or even after as part of their continuing education.
The exam will be administered for free on June 12, 2012, as part of DepEd‘s celebration of the country’s 114th Independence Day.
Expect a clean and green 2012 Palarong Pambansa!
This is the pronouncement of Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the department and this year’s host the provincial government of Pangasinan represented by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.
Luistro said the department will seriously pursue the campaign to make the Palaro an environment-friendly event by requiring food caterers to dispense with plastic and styrofor in the preparation of meals. “We started this in Dipolog, Zamboanga last year, we will do it better this year,” said Luistro.
On another clean aspect, Luistro announced that the DepEd will ensure that athlete screening and games officiating will be clean and fair to all in keeping with the true spirit of the sporting event.
“The Palaro is a venue for values formation among our youth, this is where positive Filipino values should apply,” he explained.
Luistro added that the Palaro should not be made a once-a- year event but a continuing activity to really develop the athletic prowess and sportsmanship of the young. Likewise, the games venue should not be so constructed as to last for just a year. “It should be made to last for years so that many athletes can use it for a continuous sports program.”
The 2012 Palarong Pambansa is set from May 6 to 12, 2012 to be participated in by elementary and secondary students from public and private schools.
As stipulated in DepEd Memo No. 22 series of 2012, this year’s host of the annual national sporting event is the provincial government of Pangasinan and DepEd Regional Office 1 assisted by the schools division office of Pangasinan and the city schools division offices of San Carlos City and Dagupan City.
Luistro describes the Palaro as an important component of the basic education curriculum because it promotes physical education and sports which are part of the full development of the youth’s potential. “When we say total human development, we mean to develop persons who are physically fit, socially responsible and globally competitive,” he said.
DepEd has allocated some P136.5 million for this year’s Palaro. Most of the events will be played at the Narciso Ramos Sports Center in Lingayen while the rest will be in the cities of San Carlos and Dagupan and the towns of Bugallon and Binmaley. Some 10,000 athletes, coaches and sports officials from the country’s 17 regions are expected to participate in the country’s biggest sports spectacle.
Student –athletes who stand out from the Palaro serve as feeder to the National Sports Associations for further training for international competitions. “In a way, the results of the Palaro provide a database for a more sound and relevant school development program,” added Luistro.
The sporting events are athletics, arnis, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, gymnastics (women’s artistic gymnastics, men’s artistic gymnastic and rhythmic gymnastics), sipa takraw, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, and volleyball.
For the differently-abled, there is goalball, aquatics, bocce, long jump, shot put and 100, 200 and 400 meter dash.