Children with special needs (CSNs) will follow the same K to 12 curriculum just like regular learners but teachers will have to introduce some modifications to suit their unique learning needs.
Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro FSC, who himself handled children with special needs during his early teaching days, said Special Education (SPED) is always a part of regular education and as such, it follows the regular basic learning competencies. As part of the government’s inclusive education program, all children, regardless of learning disability, should be subscribing to the regular curriculum in school.
“It just so happens that they have special needs, thus, we have to give them special attention. This entails a little adjustment and accommodation from our teachers,” explained Luistro.
Luistro is referring to learners whose learning disabilities include speech defect, visual and hearing impairment or high functioning individuals who may have autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), those with problems with mobility and other physical and learning conditions.
The accommodation and modification, according to Luistro, will be in the form of adaptation, augmentation or alteration of the regular competencies. “For example if some learners cannot keep pace with the number of days a certain competency should be learned, the teacher may have to extend the learning days or devise creative ways to achieve the desired learning competencies,” added Luistro.
He pointed out that the competencies can be further broken down into smaller tasks to suit the ability, capability and needs of the CSNs.
On the other hand, for children in the gifted class, accommodation can be done by providing competencies which are over and beyond the regular curriculum. “If our gifted children can do more, we should provide the kind of environment that is conducive to their learning pace. This will help bring out the best in them some more,” Luistro said.
DepEd, beginning this school year, has started to implement the K to 12 curriculum for Grade 1 and Grade 7 pupils/students in all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide. In 2011, the Universal Kindergarten was rolled- out to formally introduce K to 12 in the Basic Education Program.
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The Department of Education will conduct a training workshop for teachers to guide sports-oriented students in choosing sports as the entry point to the world of work or to higher education in keeping with the goal of K to 12.
The training-workshop will be divided into two concepts, options in the world of work and options in higher education. It will also feature discussions on sports ethics, sports marketing, and sports psychology.
The Special Program on Sports (SPS), in line with the spirit of K to 12, seeks to broaden the range of opportunities for students. They can either choose to pursue a college degree related to sports or pursue jobs like community coaching, apprenticeship or physical fitness instructors.
Education chief Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC stressed that the workshop is in line with the goals of K to 12 which is to provide all learners with various options based on their skills and inclinations. “By orienting our students and teachers with the different fields related to the Special Program on Sports, they will be fully equipped with knowledge and processes that can be readily applied to their future careers.”
Included in the training is a lecture that focuses on integrating the SPS curriculum standards to the K to 12 basic education program. It will also serve as an avenue for teachers to acquire new competencies in integrating sports in various aspects in school.
The training-workshop will be held on October 22-26, 2012 at Teachers Camp, Baguio City. It will be participated in by regional sports supervisors, division sports coordinators, school heads and teachers of 17 SPS lead schools, heads and teachers of schools implementing SPS, and those who are interested in implementing the SPS program.
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The famous “Kapeng Barako” of Batangas which suffered from coffee rust that caused its decline many decades ago is expected to be served hot again when coffee growing technology is taught to senior high school students under the K to 12 basic education reform program.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC led key officials during the launch of the Coffee Academy at Pinagtongulan National High School in Lipa City today, June 8.
“The academy is envisioned to produce students who have the technical know-how on research, cultivation and production of the famous Batangas coffee,” said Luistro.
The Department of Education’s K to 12 basic education program was designed to produce graduates who are equipped with knowledge and skills to prepare them for the world of work or college education. Senior high school (Grade 11 and Grade 12) will be devoted to the honing of students skills in their preferred industry or line of work.
The curriculum under K to 12 was designed to make it adapt to local employment and industry needs. DepEd Division of Lipa City will pilot the Lipa Coffee Academy in Pinagtongulan National High School. It will be a special program for senior high school starting school year 2012-2013 (Grade 11) and 2013-2014 (Grade 12). Some of the subjects to be taught under the special curriculum include basic research method, project feasibility study, coffee nursery management and practices, as well as entrepreneurial development.
“Using education as one of tools to revive the industry, we want our youth to take part in bringing back the glory days of coffee in Batangas,” explained Luistro.
Coffee, which was first introduced in 1740 in Pinagtongulan, Lipa, Batangas by a Franciscan monk, thrived in the towns of Ibaan, Lemery, San Jose, Taal, Tanauan and Lipa, earning for it the title of Coffee Capital of the Philippines.
In 1860, Lipa started exporting “Kapeng Barako” to San Francisco, California, USA. When the Suez Canal was opened, a new market was opened as well in Europe. At the height of its popularity, the Kapeng Barako commands five times the price of other Asian coffee beans. In 1889, however, coffee rust and insect infestation affected all the coffee trees which forced many farmers to shift to other crops. It did not cause the total collapse of the industry but the planting area was greatly reduced and the industry suffered heavily.
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Five public elementary schools in Camiling, Tarlac got what they wished for: 132 armchairs, 47 desks and 100 kinder chairs from the city government of Tagum City in far-away Davao del Norte.
In a text message to Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC, Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy said the school furniture arrived on May 28, 2012 by land from Tagum City exactly two weeks after Councilor Wrancudo ”Randy” P. Felix ofCamiling, Tarlac sent a letter addressed to Mayor Uy of Tagum City requesting for 200 school furniture intended forCayaoan, Libueg, Bacabac, Pindangan First and Pindangan Second Elementary Schools.
Camiling is the second non-Mindanao recipient of school furniture from Tagum City. The donation of chairs and deskamounts to P 121,585. 30. Felix revealed that he learned of the possibility of this practice from a news article wherein the LGU of Tagum City donated chairs to a Quezon City school.
Luistro has expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the mayor and the city government of Tagum for the support and generosity in addressing the shortages in armchairs. “You have gone beyond the boundaries of your city to help Camiling. What a wonderful expression of our bayanihan spirit beyond political and geographical borders. Daghang salamat,” Luistro said.
Relative to this, Uy also said that the city government is delivering chairs to Sulop Elementary School in Davao del Sur for school children affected by fire which razed five classrooms to the ground. Aside from school chairs, the city government of Tagum has the capability to fabricate book shelves, rostrum for every classroom, teachers’ tables and kinder tables and recycling of unusable desks.
Tagum City has recently made it to the international education circle after the city scored a win in the 2011 UNESCO International Literacy Prize. It was awarded for its exemplary accomplishment in achieving a thriving business community as a result of its peace education campaign. Tagum City was also a recipient of the National Literacy Hall of Fame Award for being a three-time first place winner in the Outstanding Local Government Unit in the National Literacy Awards.
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The Department of Education’s National Schools Maintenance Week, also known as the Brigada Eskwela, has generated an equivalent amount of P15.9 billion worth of donations in kind and man-hours since its launch in 2003.
Official reports of generated resources for Brigada saw significant increase in volunteer hours and in-kind donations from both elementary and secondary schools from all 17 regions of the country.
“Through Brigada Eskwela, we are promoting the spirit of volunteerism and civic responsibility for the benefit of our students. The support extended to us by private sectors and the civil society is truly heartwarming,” DepEd Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said.
Total donations of last year’s Brigada, reached P2.02 billion worth of volunteer time and materials such as paint, cement, lumber, and cleaning materials for school repair.
Brigada Eskwela encourages volunteers to give their time and donate cleaning and repair materials for minor repairs and maintenance work in schools in preparation for the start of the school year.
This year’s Brigada was launched on May 21 and ended on May 26 nationwide.
Secretary Luistro was pleased with the huge turn-out of supporters and salutes the volunteers as well as DepEd staff and officials who contributed to the success of the project.
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Automatic cancellation of classes during typhoons will still be based on the storm signal sent out by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) but the Department of Education (DepEd) will no longer be announcing class suspension. The responsibility now lies with the local government officials as they are in a better position to assess the local situation.
This is contained in Executive Order no. 66 signed by President Aquino on January 9, 2012. Based on that, DepEd then crafted DepEd Order 43 to guide its regional, division and school officials on actions to take in times of calamities and adverse weather conditions. The order applies to both public and private schools.
Based on the aforementioned DepEd Order, the following guidelines still apply: When Signal No. 1 is raised by PAGASA, public and private pre-school and kindergarten classes in the affected areas are automatically suspended. At Signal No. 2 the suspension will also include elementary and secondary classes. When Signal No. 3 is announced, classes in all levels and work in all DepEd offices are cancelled. Depending on the signal announced between 10 pm and 4:30 am the following day, classes in appropriate levels for the whole day are deemed automatically suspended.
In the absence of typhoon signals from PAGASA, localized suspension of classes in both public and private schools and work in government offices may be implemented by the local chief executive in their capacity as chairpersons of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC).
Also, based on the recent inter-agency Oplan Balik Eskwela Task Force meeting, PAGASA will include in its weather bulletin not only the storm signal but the reminder to suspend classes depending on the storm signal.
The order further stipulated that any decision to suspend classes must come from the local government. A school head may only cancel or suspend classes in cases where urgent action is needed to prevent bodily harm or loss of lives.
Concerned local DepEd and private school officials are directed to coordinate closely with LGUs in times of inclement weather.
Based on the EO, LGU officials are expected to announce cancellation of classes not later than 4:30 am for whole day cancellation and 11:00 am for afternoon class suspension.
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The Department of Education has come up with more specific guidelines on non-collection of fees in public schools to serve as guide for school officials and parents. This policy will ensure that the issues and concerns regarding unauthorized contributions and fees in public schools that often dissuade parents from enrolling their child, are directly addressed and solved. More parents will be encouraged to bring their school-aged children to school because they will be ascertained that there will be no mandatory or compulsory collection during the whole course of the school year.
“We can only encourage more parents to bring their children to school if they are not intimidated by school fees, that is why, I urge all school officials to strictly observe these guidelines under the pain of administrative sanctions,” said Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC.
Based on DepEd Order 41 series of 2012, Luistro has directed all school officials that no fees shall be collected from school children in kindergarten up to Grade 4 anytime during school year 2012-2013. For Grade 5 pupils up to fourth year high school students, there will be no collection from June to July 2012. However, starting August 2012 until the end of school year 2013, the following fees may be collected on a voluntary basis: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts membership fees of P50 per learner; Philippine National Red Cross, P35 per learner; Anti-TB fund drive of P5 per learner; school publication fee of P60 for every elementary pupils and P90 for every high school student. The Parents-Teachers Association fee must be reasonable and is to be determined during the PTA general assembly.
The PTA can only collect contributions starting August and only after presenting to the PTA members and to the school head/principal report on the utilization of previous school year’s collections and the school year 2012 proposed budget with program of activities.
“The amount of contribution to the PTA which is to be presented to the body and concurred in by the principal/school head does not make the contributions mandatory. It remains voluntary,” Luistro stressed.
The Education Chief also reiterated that PTAs should refrain from setting exorbitant amounts for voluntary school contributions for graduation ceremonies, extracurricular activities as well as minimize requests for in- kind contributions.
The order also stipulates that no teacher, school officials and personnel shall collect fees/contributions nor shall they be entrusted with the safekeeping and disbursement of collections made by the PTA pursuant to the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers.
“Let me be clear on this, in no case shall non-payment of voluntary school contributions or membership fees be made a basis for non-admission, non-promotion or non-issuance of clearance to a student. And that includes withholding of school cards,” Luistro emphasized.
The Order said that PTAs which violate the guidelines will lose their recognition. Appropriate charges will be filed against school personnel who will be found violating the provisions of the order.
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The Department of Education (DepEd) orders all its regional offices to submit the list of names and addresses of private schools with government permit to operate as this will serve as guide for parents and students on which private schools to enroll in.
The list will then be posted in all regional and division offices, municipal halls and other conspicuous places to inform the public of the duly recognized and accredited private schools in the country. The deadline for the submission of the list is on May 31.
“We encourage parents to check whether the private school where they intend to enroll their children has the required permits so the department can easily track down unaccredited private schools and pursue immediate action,” said Education secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC.
Luistro added that studying in an unaccredited private school might pose a problem on student’s learning due to a possibly unauthorized curriculum. “If a private school does not go through the process of government accreditation, we are not even sure if they follow the minimum academic standards set by the appropriate government agencies,” explained Luistro.
Pupils and students who had finished an alleged grade/year level in a school without the required permit are advised to take the Philippine Validating Test (PVT) prior to admission to another school to validate the acquired learning gains. PVT is administered at the National Education Testing and Research Center at the DepEd Central Office.
A master list of private schools with DepEd accreditation is available at the DepEd website, www.deped.gov.ph.
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Department of Trade and Industry has deployed Diskwento Caravan across the country to give parents and students a chance to buy school supplies at a discounted price of at least ten percent.
The discount caravan started May 15 and will run up to June 28 in various dates and locations nationwide.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said the move is part of the government’s thrust to make available to the public quality school supplies at affordable prices. “With inter-agency coordination and with support from local manufacturers and private business groups we can offer huge discounts on school opening essentials for public schools,” added Luistro.
DTI will publish in national broadsheets the suggested retail price of school supplies to serve as guide by the buying public. Also, it will distribute SRP posters in school supply outlets and in other government offices. Moreover, its Bureau of Product Standards has advised the public to look for “non-toxic” labels on school supplies which means that the level of toxicity has been approved by the Department of Health.
Initially, the Diskwento Caravan for Region 6 was held on May 23 at Nueva Valencia Municipal Hall, and May 25 at Region 3 at Pampanga. Region 6 also had the caravan on May 25 at Buena Vista Municipal Hall, May 26 at Balete Town Plaza, May 28 at San Lorenzo Municipal Hall and Business Park, San Jose, Antique, and on May 29 at Iloilo Freedom Grandstand, Jordan Municipal Hall, and Tacloban City, Leyte.
Region 4-A has two more schedules for the month of May. On May 27 at Bay, Los Baños City, Laguna and on May 28-29 at Capitol Grounds, Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Region 11 will hold the caravan on May 28 at Digos, Davao del Sur. The National Capital Region will have the Diskwento Caravan on May 29 at Pasig City Hall, and at Tacloban City, Leyte for the Region 8 leg. Region IX will close the caravan for the month of May on May 30-31 at Plaza Pershing, Zamboanga City.
The Diskwento Caravan for the month of June is set to kick off on June 1 at Zamboanga Del Norte of Region 9 and on Taguig City of NCR. Region 6 will have a six day-schedule for the caravan on June 5, 6, 8, 15 and 18 at Guimaras and on June 14-16 at Brgy. Villamonte, Taculing, Bacolod City.
On June 11-12, the caravan will be in Cagayan de Oro City and at Davao Oriental on June 15. Zamboanga City will hold the caravan on June 22. Region 5 will have the last schedule for the 2012 Caravan on June 26-28 at Polangui, Albay.
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The Department of Education is set to launch the Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) Information and Action Center (IAC) on May 28 as part of the department’s goal to ensure a smooth and organized school opening this June.
Aiming to assist the public by providing helpful information, DepEd will set-up the OBE-IAC until June 8, from 7am-6pm daily, including Saturday and Sunday, at the DepEd Central Office. The OBE-IAC will also serve as information and complaints processing and routing mechanism for the opening of classes.
“Oplan Balik Eskwela is one of the flagship projects of DepEd, and we are tapping all our department’s offices as well as our field offices to actively participate in this project. We have to ensure that all is set for the school opening on June 4,” DepEd Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said.
Regional directors and schools division superintendents will have to form their own Local Information and Action Center (LIAC) not only to oversee local concerns which will be coordinated to the central office but also to encourage parents and communities to send their children to school.
Command centers will set-up hotlines to receive calls, text and fax messages, and e-mails on complaints, requests and suggestions from parents, students and other concerned citizens. Help desks will also be set-up to accommodate walk-in concerns.
Requests for information or queries may be directed to the OBE-IAC at (02) 636-8641 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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