In its thrust to promote the love for reading, the Department of Education declares November 2011 as National Reading Month which will culminate with the “Araw ng Pagbasa” on November 25, 2011.
Education Secretary Armin Luisto said the move is in support of the ten-point education agenda of the Aquino Administration and the promotion of Every Child a Reader Program (ECARP).
“We are coming up with more creative ways of developing the love for reading among our young because this is an important portal to the world of learning,” added Luistro.
The education department has listed down a series of activities to celebrate the month as stipulated in DepEd Order 244.
During the National Reading Month, DepEd enjoins schools to conduct Read-A-Thon to foster a reading culture among pupils and launch a search for the best individual and team readers from students in public schools.
Also being promoted is the Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) project, a 15- to 20-minute daily activity devoted to reading a book or any reading materials available in the school. There is also the Shared Reading project (Big Brother or Sister / Kaklase Ko, Sagot Ko), an activity wherein older students or independent readers teach pupils who are at the frustration reading or non-reading level.
Luistro also proposes as one of the activities the Intensified Remedial Reading where teachers or class advisers give remedial lessons to children in the frustration reading level.
Meanwhile, the Five Words A Week (FWAW) / A Paragraph A Day (APAD) encourages pupils to learn and master one word a day for five days a week and to read aloud one or two short paragraphs a day before classes start to develop the students’ oral communication skills. DepEd also suggests the holding of a Reading Camp where children are provided a venue where their talents in communication arts can be highlighted through competitions.
To highlight the Reading Month, Luistro directed all regional, division and school level officials to lead the nationwide synchronized reading program every first Monday of November from 9:00 to 10:00 in the morning.
In a related development, DepEd will conduct the nationwide Araw ng Pagbasa on November 25 to coincide with the week of the celebration of the birth anniversary of the late Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy” Aquino on November 27. The event also commemorates the 20th year of the signing of RA 7165 by former President Corazon Aquino which created the Literacy Coordinating Council on November 25, 1991.
“By giving importance to the Araw ng Pagbasa, we are promoting reading and literacy among our learners even as we motivate them to learn from the lives and works of eminent Filipinos,” explained Luistro.
In pursuit of this, school officials are encouraged to conduct reading and literacy activities in honor of Ninoy Aquino. Schools are likewise asked to partner with non-government organizations and the private sector to foster cooperation in the community.
The Department of Education announces that public schools are entitled to observe semestral break but they should make sure that they complete the 180 teaching-learning days.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro specified that the total number of school days shall be 202 while the total number of teaching-learning days shall be 180 days. The 22-day difference shall be for national and local events and celebrations, national, division and regional achievement tests and class suspensions due to calamities.
“For schools which suffered from class interruption due to typhoons and other natural calamities, the local DepEd officials must find a way to make up for the missed school days and ensure that they abide by what is prescribed in the DepEd calendar of activities,” the education chief said.
Private elementary and secondary schools are required to comply with the 180 contact days.
Luistro stressed that public schools are entitled to semestral break which starts on October 26 and ends on November 2. Classes will resume on November 3 as specified in DepEd Memo No. 28 series of 2011.
The calendar of activities is compulsory for all public elementary and secondary schools.
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The Department of Education has directed its officials and personnel not to enroll in higher education institutions (HEIs) offering masteral and doctoral degree programs which are not recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
The directive was contained in DepEd Order No. 78 s. 2011 which orders that DepEd officials and personnel must refrain from enrolling in non-accredited colleges and universities offering higher education programs which are similarly not authorized.
“If we want to institute lasting reforms in our education system, we must fully cooperate with CHED by not patronizing HEIs which do not meet the standards set by the Commission,” said Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
Moreover, Luistro has instructed DepEd officials and personnel not to allow illegally operated HEIs to use any public school facilities as venues for holding unauthorized classes and other activities.
Teaching and non-teaching personnel are encouraged by DepEd to pursue higher education as a requirement for their promotion and upward mobility.
“Yes, we want an improving career path for our DepEd personnel but they must earn the requisite credentials the right way and in duly-accredited HEIs,” Luistro emphasized.
The Department of Education has created Task Force ARMM to Economic Recovery and Development to strengthen and ensure smooth coordination with other government agencies.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro has appointed Undersecretaries Francisco Varela and Rizalino Rivera as co-chairs of the task force. Its members were culled from DepEd’s planning service, the bureaus of elementary and secondary education, finance and administration, as well as alternative learning systems.
“We want to ensure that we have a complete range of services for our learners in the autonomous region and we will do it in full cooperation with other government agencies,” added Luistro.
Earlier, a national transition team was created by the government headed by the Department of Interior and Local Government in preparation for the appointment and installation of officers-in-charge in ARMM. The transition team is composed of DepEd, the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development which are the key government agencies identified with providing basic services.
The ARMM economic recovery and development initiative is also called “ARMM Mini Marshall Plan,” and is aimed at addressing gaps in basic services for the next 21 months of transition.
One of the responsibilities of the DepEd task force is to facilitate and guide the conduct of rapid validation of education data in ARMM including the inventory of personnel and physical facilities in coordination with DepEd–ARMM. The activity is part of the thrust of the transition team to clean up data across all agencies to prepare the entire ARMM bureaucracy for the appointment of the OICs.
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The Department of Education joins other government and non-government organizations in bringing to national attention the need to reduce risks caused by disasters and provide protection to the most vulnerable sector especially the children.
During the commemoration of the United Nations’-declared International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) which falls every 13th of October, the Philippines also observes the Association of South East Asian Nation Day for Disaster Management (ADDM) along with other ASEAN member countries.
During the event, DepEd Undersecretary Lino Rivera reiterated the role of the department in managing the impact of disasters and the need for vigilance by school communities so that the risk from natural and man-made disasters is significantly if not totally reduced.
“It is important that government agencies and our partners in the private sector work together in formulating, planning and implementing disaster risk reduction policies, plans and projects,” Rivera said.
Many people around the world have lost or are in danger of losing their lives, properties and access to basic services every time natural disasters strike. Disasters such as earthquakes, droughts, typhoons, hurricanes, flooding, fires have caused untold suffering to people especially among children.
The United Nations acknowledges that education, training, and information exchanges are effective ways to help people become better equipped in overcoming natural disasters.
Related to this, October is also declared as the National Children’s Month which emphasizes the role of children within the family and within the society. This lends significance to the choice of the theme of this year’s observance of the IDDR and ADDM which is “Making Children and Young People Partners in Disaster Risk Reduction.”
The theme puts into focus the role of children and youth as a potential resource. Children can be valuable in raising awareness on disaster risk reduction and can contribute to decision-making on disaster risk management.
Thus, other government and non-government organization which include the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, World Vision, United Nations Children Emergency Fund, Save the Children, are enjoined to involve the participation of the youth in disaster risk reduction advocacies.
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It’s not just teachers who emerged winners during the celebration of Teacher’s Month.
Students from public and private schools who joined the poster making and video production contests conducted by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) were also recognized for generating the best tribute to their teachers.
Camilo M. Reyes III, a Grade 5 student of Kataasan Elementary School in Kataasan Dinalupihan, Bataan won first place for his poster titled “I Love My Heroic Teacher”, followed by second placer Christian Luke Alarcon of Pinyahan Elementary School in Quezon City with “Gurong Bayani Tungo sa Pagbabago at Pag-unlad”. Third place went to Dale del Rosario of Calzadung Bayu ES in Porac, Pampanga for “One Teacher, One Better World”.
“Makabagong Bayani”, Ma. Jessica Baldado’s tribute to her Science teacher at the Canizares National High School in Cotabato City, bested 168 entries nationwide for first place in the Video Making contest. In second place was “Superb Superwoman” of Aaron Michael Soriano of Livingstone Christian Academy in Consolacion, Cebu, followed by “My Teacher, My Hero – A Tribute” by Irriz Maria Fe Limiac of O’Donnell High School in Capas, Tarlac. Their winning videos can be accessed via youtube (www.youtube.com).
All student winners, as well as the teachers they paid tribute to, received prizes that ranged from a cash prize, to Huawei IDEOS Android phones, Talk ‘N Text panalo phones and Smart Bro plug-it units.
Aside from holding the poster- and video-making contests with DepEd, Smart joined the nation in paying tribute to teachers during the Teacher’s Month campaign via “Treebute”, a nationwide tree planting activity as well as the Fun Walk for Teachers held at the grounds of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
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Educators and scholars worldwide have acknowledged the inadequacy of traditional competencies and literacies in coping with the demands of the times, especially with the advent of information and communication technologies. According to UNESCO, literacy is a plural and dynamic concept, and there is no single notion of literacy but multiple literacies.
To develop a multi-literate society, we first need to develop multi-literate teachers. Thus, the Philippine Association for Teacher Education (PAFTE) has adopted “Leading in the Formation of the Multi-literate Teacher Educator of the 21st Century” as the theme for its 40th Annual Convention.
Dr. Florentino H. Hornedo, UNESCO Commissioner, a prolific writer, scholar and a Palanca awardee for literature, and Hon. Salvador H. Escudero III, Representative of the first district of Sorsogon and Chairman of the Committee on Basic Education and Culture of the House of Representatives, are the keynote speakers for the first two days of the convention.
The various dimensions of literacy which will be discussed by invited experts are Cyberliteracy (Cynthia Grace Diaz), Media and Information Literacy (Ramon R. Tuazon), Financial (Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy – Avelina De La Rea), Health Literacy (Carolina C. Porio), Music Literacy (Corazon P. Kabayao), and Multilingual Education (Dina S. Ocampo). How to make television more learner (child)-friendly will also be discussed by Frank G. Rivera of the National Council for Children’s Television.
Department of Education Undersecretary Yolanda S. Quijano will give an update on the K to 12 Curriculum, while Dr. Paraluman R. Giron, the Chairperson of the K to 12 Technical Working Group will discuss how multiple literacies are being integrated into the emerging new basic education curriculum.
Updates on teacher education will be discussed by Teacher Education Council (TEC) Executive Director Dr. Beatriz G. Torno, CHED Technical Panel for Education member Dr. Amor Q. De Torres, and the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, Dr. Purita P. Bilbao.
The 40th PAFTE National Annual Convention will be held on 17-19 October 2011 at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.
The national competition for the 5th Association of South East Asia Nation (ASEAN) Quiz will be held on November 22 to 25, 2011 at the People’s Television Broadcast Center in Quezon City to determine the country’s representative to the regional quiz in Cambodia next year.
The ASEAN Quiz is a project of the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information to foster healthy competition among ASEAN youth in a quiz that exposes them to ASEAN history, social, cultural, political and economic developments in the region.
Student participants in the national competition must be third year high school students either from a public or a private school, between 14 to 17 years old.
“This is a good venue for our ASEAN youth to build camaraderie and solidarity because these young people will surely play a great role for the region’s prosperity and peace in the years ahead,” said Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
Ten ASEAN member-countries will participate in the two-level competition. The first level is the national competition held in the respective countries and the regional competition which is hosted by the ASEAN Quiz country coordinator for the year.
Previous regional competitions were held in Thailand (2002), Brunei Darussalam (2004), Malaysia (2006), and the Philippines in 2009.
Before making it to the national competition, local and regional division offices are encouraged to conduct their own search from September to October for one student who shall represent the region and compete in the national level.
The three students with the highest scores in the national competition shall be declared as the first, second and third place winners who will then represent the country to the 5th ASEAN Quiz in Cambodia next year.
Aside from DepEd and PTV 4, other government agencies that will help ensure the success of the event are the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Philippine Information Agency and the Philippine Broadcasting System.
In its serious bid to make education truly inclusive of all learners, the Department of Education will regularly meet with representatives of organizations from the disability sector to exchange ideas and map out plans on how learners who are differently-abled can have access to quality education.
DepEd, together with representatives from the disability sector, has organized the Advisory Council for the Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities (ACECYD) to give all children access to quality basic education.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the move is pursuant to Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Salamanca Statement on Inclusive Education and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Framework on Education for All.
“This is part of our serious push to move the disability agenda and facilitate the effective education of children and youth who are differently-abled,” Luistro explained.
The ACECYD, which will meet quarterly within the year with the Education Secretary, shall be composed of eight core members from different organizations. The core group shall be assisted by other disability sectors who act as observers along with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), Christoffel Blinden Mission (CBM), Lillianne Foundation and the National Council on Disability Affairs.
The council is expected to work closely with the education chief for constructive exchange and action planning.
The core members are Dr. Irma C. Coronel of the Philippine Council of Cheshire Homes for the Disabled (PhilCOCHED), Capt. Oscar Taleon of the Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy and Philippine Blind Union, Mr. Richard D. Arceno of the Leonard Cheshire Disability Philippines Foundation, Mr. Manuel V. Agcaoili of the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Mrs. Celia C Garcia of Parents Advocate for Visually-Impaired Children, Mr. Randy Weisser of the Resources for the Blind, Inc., Mrs. Carolyn C. Ui of LINK Center for the Deaf, Mrs. Felicite Jean Gonzales of the Philippine Association of Citizens with Development and Learning Disabilities and Mr. Raphael Domingo of Education Access for the Deaf.
ACECYD mainly focuses on supporting research studies and collate data, related reports and studies on inclusive and special education. It will also conduct strategic planning to come up with a shortlist of priorities that need immediate action.
“At the end of the day, our goal is to make education all-embracing and that means providing education more so for children and youth who have disabilities,” Luistro stressed.
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The Department of Education has allocated an additional subsidy for schools hosting high school students who have shown strong potential of bringing glory to the country through their talent in sports.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that on top of their regular maintenance and other operating expenses for school year 2011-2012, the 17 secondary expansion schools implementing the Special Program in Sports (SPS) are granted a maximum of P500,000 subsidy for effective delivery of service to high school students who excel in sports.
“For us to develop the untapped talent of students in sports, we have to invest in their training and other sporting needs,” added Luistro.
As specified in DepEd Order no 71 s. 2011, 20% of the subsidy should go to training of teachers and administrators on relevant topics in sports; 40% is for the procurement of sports supplies including athletic uniforms; 5% for the procurement of instructional materials in SPS; 20% should be allocated for student development activities such as training, workshops, participation in DepEd-approved competitions in sports including travel allowance; and 15% will be for participation in DepEd-sponsored scholarships, professional upgrading of teachers including enrolment in a master’s degree program in sports.
Luistro said the 17 recipient schools shall receive a fixed allocation of P290,000 and a variable allocation computed at P500 per student. These schools are also directed to conduct a yearly mentoring program to other schools within the 40 priority division in the region which intend to implement the same sports program. These schools will also be given access to the sports equipment and facilities in order to improve their learning outcomes.
Moreover, the student-beneficiaries of the sports program must continue to participate in national or international competitions.
“Because we want to develop not only their physical prowess but their academic potential as well, we require that our beneficiaries must attain a mean percentage score above the national average in the National Achievement Test,” Luistro explained.
The 17 SPS schools are Ilocos Norte National High School in Region I, Cagayan NHS in Region 2, Victoria NHS in Region 3, Lopez National Comprehensive HS in Region 4-A, Palawan National School in Region 4-B, Camarines Sur NHS in Region 5, Iloilo NHS in Region 6, Negros Oriental NHS in Region 7, Palo NHS in Region 8, Zamboanga Sibugay NHS in Region 9, Bukidnon NHS in Region 10, Sto. Tomas NHS in Region 11, General Santos City NHS in Region 12, Bayugan National Comprehensive HS in CARAGA, Datu Paglas NHS in Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao, Tabuk NHS in Cordillera Administrative Region and Muntinlupa Science HS in the National Capital Region.
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