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Worldclass Sorsoganon Educator

A.A.J.A. AWARD FOR DECHAVEZ. Educator and community leader Willie D.
Dechavez (center) shows the recognition award he received from the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) during a reception held on March 4, 2011 in the GM Renaissance Conference Center in Detroit. With him in photo are State Senator Hoon Yung Hopgood (left) and journalist Ron Jacinto. Dechavez will also receive the Everyday Hero award on March 9, 2011 from Verizon and Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.

Filed under: Campus Talk, Community Service Group, Department of Education, Encouragement, Inspiration, Natatanging Sorsoganon, People who inspired Us, Pinoy Migration, Show your pride, Sorsoganon Everywhere, Sorsoganon in the LIMELIGHT!, Sorsogon News Updates, Sorsogon Outstanding Achievers, Touching Heart, Touching Lives, We will make you SHINE!, , , , , ,

DepEd supports teachers’ adjusted salary

The Department of Education (DepEd) expressed its support to the immediate release of the adjusted salary of teachers that would further assure the upgrading of the quality of education in public schools.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno said that a set of urgent concerns will be presented to the next administration, top among which is the salary adjustment of teachers.

“I will be former secretary by July 1. But the team at DepEd will bridge with President Noynoy our concerns as he committed that education will be a priority in his administration,” said Valisno.

Earlier this week, an association of public school teachers nationwide pressed DepEd for the prompt implementation of the salary adjustment of teachers under the Salary Standardization Law III (SSL3) approved by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in June last year.

Valisno revealed that the Department will make representations with teachers on SSL III through DepEd’s agency transition officials including Legal Affairs Undersecretary Franklin Sunga, Undersecretary for Finance Manaros Bonansing, and Assistant Secretary Special Projects and Legislative Affairs Jonathan Malaya.

By Ina Hernandez- Malipot/Manila Bulletin

Filed under: Department of Education, Education,

Sex ed modules to be uploaded on DepEd website

The Department of Education (DepEd) clarified on Thursday, June 24, 2010, that it is not distributing illustrated comics on sex education in public high schools contrary to what the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) claims. DepEd also plans to upload the modules which will be used for the pilot-testing of sex education program in 159 elementary and high schools to give everyone the chance to scrutinize it.

According to Education Secretary Mona Valisno, the comics which were shown on television by members of the CBCP were never part of the modules which will be used for the sex education program. “They may have obtained it from other sources but definitely it is not part of our learning modules on sex education,” she stressed.

Valisno emphasized that the fear of some —parents, teachers, and other stakeholders— that DepEd will teach the act of sex in school is not true. “Why would we do that? I believe that discussion on sex should be the responsibility of the parents who should draw guidance from the moral teaching of the Catholic Church. Both are our partners in educating our children,” she explained.

She said that DepEd is not insensitive to the students’ state of mind as what some critics allege the DepEd to be. “I believe it is grossly unfair to make public such document without really checking the source of the said sex education materials,” she lamented.

Meanwhile, to give the public the chance to review the contents of the modules, Valisno said electronic copies will be uploaded to the DepEd website. “Once the modules (are) uploaded, we would leave it to the public to judge if the critics of sex education are right in claiming that the materials are only about sex and condoms,” she said.

Valisno said that the modules to be uploaded are the same ones that have been used for the past three years in teaching students about hygiene, practice healthy behavior, and looking at the consequences of their actions. The materials also aim to enable young adults to plan parenthood.

She also maintained that the modules of DepEd that will guide the teachers on integrating sex education in various subjects were carefully prepared to suit the understanding level of students from Grade 5 to 4th year high school.

“We assure you that child psychologists were part of the team that developed these modules and we are careful that what is contained in the learning modules are age-appropriate,” said Valisno.

She clarified that the sex education program and the use of the modules are still in its pilot-testing stage and have not yet been implemented nationwide.

Valisno agrees that parents still have the primary roles of molding their children but there is also a need to complement this with proper teaching that will help strengthen the child’s values. “With topics on sex and sexuality circulating on all medium, the parents believe that teachers, who spend more time with their children, play an important role in building the character of the child,” she ended.



Filed under: Department of Education, Education, Sorsogon News Updates,

Students banned in malls


(Prohibition also covers computer shops, cinemas)

The Department of Education (DepEd) is now prohibiting all students of public and private elementary and secondary schools from going to computer shops, malls, theaters, and other similar establishments during class hours.

To carry out the ban effectively, Education Secretary Mona Valisno said school officials and teachers concerned should communicate and coordinate with their respective local government officials so that both parties could work on a possible enactment or implementation of the appropriate legislation to implement this.

“These legislations may be in the form of regulating the distance of computer shops, malls, theaters and the likes from schools,” she said.

The directive may also be sent to the owners of these establishments not to allow entry of students during their respective class hours. “The LGUs can ask the owners of these shops and malls to check first the class schedules of the student trying to enter the establishment,” she said.

Valisno said schools should accordingly provide their students with certified copies of their respective class schedules.

She said going to these establishments has adverse effects on students. “We are aware of the prevailing situation that there are students in the elementary and secondary levels from public and private schools who go to computer shops, malls, theaters, and the likes during their class hours while in their school uniforms,” she said.

Thus, the Department issued DepEd Order No. 86, s. 2010 on June 18 which directed all school officials and employees concerned to institute and implement the necessary mechanism on the school discipline applicable under the situation. “They should monitor closely those students who are absent or cut class often,” said Valisno.

When it comes to the school discipline to be imposed, Valisno explained that this should primarily focus on guidance counseling of the students involved. “The principals or the teachers should have a dialogue with the parents of the students or even with their guardians to address the problem,” added Valisno.

Valisno also urged the school officials and teachers to provide their students with worthwhile and productive activities. “These activities particularly those that can enhance the creative and communicative skills can be done during the free time of the students in school,” she said.

School heads and teachers can encourage their students to join in activities that could improve their communicative skills such as debate or their creative skills such as dramatic activities and theatrical programs.

Reports to DepEd reveal that many students cut their classes and spend time playing online games, visiting various social networking sites such as Friendster and Facebook and some even are sneaking to visit pornographic sites in computer and Internet shops.

To address this concern, DepEd will also be deploying monitoring teams to watch Internet shops for class-cutting pupils. “We already ordered a tighter watch on Internet cafés, particularly those in school zones, during class hours,” she explained.

Valisno admitted that since DepEd cannot address this problem alone, cooperation between school officials, LGU officers, and parents is a must. “We also appeal to owners of Internet cafés not to allow students – especially those still in uniform – to spend time in their establishments, especially during class hours,” she said.

Nationwide, many LGUs are implementing ordinances that regulate Internet shops that allow students to enter their premises. In Makati for instance, the local government has already warned owners of computer shops of possible closure if they would not comply with the DepEd order and city ordinance.

For Maribeth Cortes, parent to first year high school student Vince, this is very important since parents like her cannot monitor the activities of her child when he is in school. “I think construction of computer shops should not even be allowed near school premises because these only tempt the students to go there instead of attending their classes,” she explained in Filipino.

Valisno said that school heads and teachers should also be responsible in monitoring the activities of their students. “They should always remind their students not to go to these computer shops during class hours and should call the attention of the parents of the child if the he or she cuts class very often,” she ended.

Filed under: Campus Talk, Department of Education, What's Happening Here?,

Erroneous textbooks still rated perfect by DepEd

Why we’re left behind

(First of a series)

MANILA, Philippines—Question: Where can one make three major mistakes, and still get a perfect grade?

Answer: At the Department of Education (DepEd).

Over a decade since the issue cropped up, major errors can still be found in public school textbooks because DepEd rules allow authors to make three major mistakes and still get a “perfect grade” from reviewers, according to a University of the Philippines (UP) professor.

UP history professor Maria Serena Diokno said the manual for textbook reviewers from the DepEd Instructional Materials Council Secretariat (IMCS) gave a “perfect grade” even for textbooks that have three major errors.

Diokno discovered the flaw after she led UP professors in reviewing the social studies textbooks used in elementary and high school and found factual errors, biases and serious conceptual omissions.

She said that when she informed the DepEd about their study, one official replied that “no textbook would pass” the review process if the rules were tightened.

“I reviewed the manual for how they check the errors and how they grade them and mark them, and the rating scale is so built that it accommodates error,” Diokno told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview.

“You can have three major errors and get a perfect grade on a scale of one to six with six as the highest. You can get a grade of six (with three major errors). That’s in their manual,” she said. “The review process within the Deped, the IMCS, is flawed.”
Making room for errors

For those textbooks that have four up to 10 major errors, the manual even suggests giving its second highest rating of 5. A rating of 4 (for 11 to 20 major errors), 3 (for 21 to 30 major errors), 2 (for 31 to 40 major errors), and the lowest rating of 1 (for more than 40 major errors).

“It’s very generous. For me, if you have 10 major errors, why would you still give it the second highest rating? It should already fail,” Diokno said.

She said DepEd textbook reviewers, who are usually hired temporarily from schools like UP and Ateneo de Manila University did their reviews by looking at a book’s learning competencies, content, presentation and language.

Learning competencies account for 40 percent of the total grade; content, 35 percent; presentation, 10 percent; and language, 15 percent, Diokno said.

“These four areas are divided further. Like for learning competencies, accuracy and up-to-dateness account for 15 percent,” she said.

“That’s 15 percent of 40 percent so that means if there is an inaccuracy, it can slip through (because it’s just 15 percent),” she added.

The second major area of review—content, which accounts for 35 percent of a textbook’s total rating—should already be enough to prevent errors, but it is here that one finds the rule giving a perfect rating of six to textbooks with “one to three major errors,” Diokno said.

“The highest grade is six but that still contains one to three major errors. Shouldn’t that be error-free?” she said.

Inconsistent grading system

If the textbook gets the “perfect rating of six” and its accompanying teacher’s manual also does the same, then that means the book “perfects” that 35 percent allotted for content, Diokno said.

She also pointed out that the grading system for the four major areas of review were “inconsistent” with one rating scale’s top score allowing for “one to three” major errors while another one even allowing “one to 12” mistakes.

“Normally when you do this, you should have a statistical basis for determining the range, but this is not explained so it comes out as arbitrary,” she said.

But it should also not just be about the number of errors. Diokno said the focus of the rating system on the “quantity” of errors in each textbook failed to provide a “sense of scale.”

Errors of omission

“Some errors are more significant than others, but they only look at the quantity,” she said.

Diokno said that the Philippine history textbooks that her team reviewed did not even mention the American idea of “Benevolent Assimilation” as a driving force behind the US conquest of the Philippines in the late 19th and early 20th century.

“But that is the whole philosophical framework behind why the Americans came here. You can’t understand what happened there if you don’t look at that philosophy,” she said.

“But, of course, that does not come up (in a DepEd review) because it’s not an error. It’s totally omitted. So how do they consider omissions? For me, that is a major error,” she added.

The Philippine history textbook for high school freshmen also does not call the country’s struggle to resist American colonization by its proper name: the Philippine War of Independence against the United States, Diokno said.

“They call it an ‘alitan (quarrel)’ as if it’s just a lover’s quarrel. It was a war with so many dead on both parties, particularly on our side. There were atrocities, torture, the water cure, all of that. And yet they just call this a quarrel,” she said.

“It was the first war of liberation in all of Asia.”

Biases against minorities

Diokno said that social studies textbooks fostered biases against cultural minorities like the Agta and the Igorot, in violation of the DepEd’s own guidelines.

“The students are asked, ‘An Igorot will visit your house and stay for two weeks. Look at them, their habits are different (iba ang ugali). What will be your reaction?” Diokno said.

“The student should answer he or she is ‘happy,’ but (then) you preface it with ‘iba ang ugali nila’ which in Filipino is pejorative. But this slipped through,” she said.

Stereotyping women

According to Diokno, the social studies textbook for Grade 2 students also maintains the stereotype that it is a woman’s job to clean the house, cook in the kitchen, and wash the dishes and the laundry.

“This is a major mistake considering all the international conventions on women and gender equality. You don’t want to train children at a young age that a woman can only go so far. It’s really, really bad,” she added.

Diokno said the curriculum behind the social science studies textbooks was also flawed because it did not “spell out the cognitive competencies” that children should learn.

“They say ‘children should be able to understand and discuss,’ but in their testing, it’s just (memorization). Understanding is not memorizing. But then they told me they test higher order skills but again when I looked, there are not higher order skills. It’s practically memory,” she said.

“For me, that’s very important because my thinking is even if they forget the facts, when you teach them how to think and where to find the facts, then they will know where to find it and they will know how to deal with it, how to interpret it, and how to infer from it,” she said.

Reviewers from top schools

Diokno also said the DepEd should not use having textbook reviewers from prominent schools as an excuse for the textbook errors.

“A consultant has no control over the final outcome. They can discard what you say when you leave the room,” she added.

Diokno said one mathematics professor who reviewed an “error-filled” Math textbook had told her that when she saw the printed copy, she realized her recommendations to correct the mistakes were not followed.

Drastic proposals

To remedy the problem, Diokno’s team had a drastic proposal: The government should set up a body composed of specialists from the various disciplines and teachers from the ground that would formulate the curriculum and review the textbooks.

“I think that the curriculum shouldn’t be left with the DepEd,” she said. While many in the department were excellent civil servants, she said they were not only “underpaid, but they’re overloaded with work.”

According to Diokno, DepEd officials hardly have the time to keep up with the latest books and “explosive” trends in pedagogy.

For his part, long-time “sick book” crusader Antonio Calipjo Go said the errors had persisted because there was still no specific law to punish those responsible.

“It should be put in the law that it is wrong to have these error-filled textbooks and have students use these, and then set the corresponding punishment,” said Go, academic supervisor of Marian School of Quezon City.

He said that he knew of a legislator who is preparing to file a bill in the Senate which will set penalties depending on the number of errors found in the textbook.

“It’s not enough for us to identify the errors because all of us accept that these are errors. But because there is no law, just about anybody can write and even if you bring the author to court, nothing will happen,” Go said.

“The writer would just be humiliated somewhat, but that’s about it,” he added.

Moonlighting execs

Go also said that one reason error-filled textbooks might have passed through the DepEd screening process was that education officials, both retired and in active service, sometimes acted as “authors, editors and coordinators” for publishing houses.

“There are some officials of the DepEd moonlighting as authors, editors, and consultants of publishers of private school textbooks, perhaps not realizing that these publishers also happen to be suppliers or future suppliers of public school textbooks to the DepEd. There is something very wrong with this arrangement,” he said.

Go showed several textbooks showing the names of ranking DepEd officials, both active and retired, on their covers.

“That’s already your pass to get into the DepEd. That name will be the pass that shall get you in,” he added.

Go said publishers also had to cut expenses because they had to pay grease money to government officials.

Proof of crime

“We cannot prove corruption but for me, we do have a dead body, which is the proof of the crime, the dead body being the defective textbook,” Go said.

He said that instead of getting an excellent writer, editor or researcher, the publisher would just get someone “cheaper” to cut his expenses.

Go added that way back in 1996, one publishing house even offered him a Mitsubishi L-300 van just so his school would agree to get all the books it needed from the publisher for three years.

“It won’t cost me a thing because that would have been passed on to the students. But what I did then was to review the books and that was when I saw the errors. It was a big eye opener. It was providential because had I seen a good textbook, I won’t have done all of these,” he said.

“But after 13 years of doing this, we have 13 Senate resolutions and many more in Congress (about textbook errors), I’ve gone through 10 secretaries of education and had put out 10 paid ads but nothing has happened. Instead, what I got were four court cases filed against me by the authors and publishers of the textbooks I had exposed.”

By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer


Filed under: Department of Education, Education,

DepEd extends enrollment until June 29, targets fewer dropouts

THE Department of Education (Deped) extended the enrollment for elementary and high school until June 29 to make sure more children can go to school.

Deped Secretary Mona Valisno issued the order despite complaints about a shortage in classrooms, toilets, teachers and facilities.

Aside from the extension, teachers were also ordered to provide make-up sessions and extra assignments so that late enrollees can catch up, said DepEd 7 Director Dr. Recaredo Borgonia.

Enrollment in public schools, so far, has reached 20.17 million, while private schools have listed three million students. Last year’s enrollment in both public and private schools stood at 22.39 million.

Valisno said the DepEd’s mandate is to provide quality education to all, regardless of the difficulties.

“With the support of the community, we can achieve the quality of education we all aspire for. Even if our classrooms are
packed, we are finding ways to get them all in,” she said.

DepEd also aims to cut the dropout rate in the country’s more than 44,000 public schools to nine percent this school year.

The 2010 target reflects a consistent decline from the 8.35 percent dropout rate in school year 2006-2007 and 7.45 percent in 2007-2008.

Survival rate has also improved. In 2005, 70.02 of elementary pupils graduated. This percentage rose to 75.39 three years later.

In high school, the survival rate was 67.32 for 2005, increasing to 75.39 in 2008-2009.

In 2009, DepEd declared there were 5.6 million out-of-school children.

In Central Visayas last year, the average school participation rate for the elementary level was 81.38 percent, said Borgonia.

In high school, the school participation rate was 45.49 percent.

Borgonia also revealed dropout rates in high school were higher than in the elementary level.

One reason was that teenagers were forced to drop out so they could work, he said.

With the enrollment extension, Borgonia said, DepEd hopes to improve the survival rate among public school students and attract out-of-school youths to attend school. (JKV/(Sunnex)

Filed under: Department of Education, Education, ,

Corruption in DepEd is a major challenge for Aquino

When the agency that has the main responsibility for educating the youth is notorious for setting a bad example, what’s an incoming president to do?

President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has promised to end the systemic corruption that has corroded many Philippine institutions, one of them the Department of Education (DepEd). For some quarters, improving the state of the basic education system would be a good start.

“The problem with the Arroyo administration is that it is rooted in perceptions of corruption and bad governance. Even the programs that are meant to help the poor were in fact utilized in the context of patronage,” says former Education Secretary Butch Abad.

There was the so-called noodle scam involving a contract awarded by DepEd in 2007 to a supplier that sold noodles at a staggering P18 per pack when the market price was only P4.50.

Before that, there was the textbook scam, with whistleblower Antonio Go alleging that the numerous errors in textbooks used in public schools resulted from an allegedly “secretive” evaluation process that “breeds graft and corruption.”

E-Net Philippines, a consortium of education advocates, had also opposed Arroyo projects like the Food-for-School program which “has become a strategy for patronage” as local government units, along with the DepEd, are the ones who select beneficiaries.

Abad, who served as the Liberal Party campaign manager in the May 10 elections, says Mrs. Arroyo was “driven by the fight for political survival” so she pandered to the corruption of some politicians instead of ensuring that they implement education programs honestly.

But Abad believes that once Noynoy—who had a clean slate in his nine years as congressman and three as senator—takes over, Filipinos can expect him to ensure that the education department will not be a breeding ground for corruption.

“In the case of Noynoy Aquino, it would be in the context of good governance and empowerment. I think that’s a dramatic departure from the Arroyo administration’s framework,” he says.

Abad was one of the Cabinet secretaries who resigned from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s government in 2005 at the height of the Hello Garci scandal that put in doubt the legitimacy of her victory in the 2004 elections.

The legacy of his iconic parents, the martyred Benigno Aquino Jr. and former president Corazon Aquino, and a vigorous anti-corruption platform swept Noynoy to victory in the May 10 polls. Now that he’s president-elect, many are expecting Aquino to fulfill his campaign promises and ensure that none of the corruption scandals during the Arroyo administration will happen during his term.

12-year basic education

Noynoy and his education reform team won’t have it easy. Data from DepEd show that out of 100 children who enter Grade 1, only 43 finish high school, only 23 pursue college or vocational courses, and only 14 are able to finish tertiary education.

With nearly half of high school graduates choosing to work rather than pursue higher education, Aquino is looking at re-introducing technical-vocational education in public high schools “to better link schooling to local industry needs and employment.”

But his foremost plan for basic education is ambitious: to expand the duration of formal schooling from the current 10 years (six for elementary and four for high school) to the global standard of 12 years starting school year 2011-2012.

“We need to add two years to our basic education cycle to catch up with the rest of the world,” Aquino says.

The plan is still “subject to fine-tuning,” says former Education Undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz, who currently sits as the vice president for policy and research of the Liberal Party think-tank National Institute for Policy Studies.

A possible division is Grades 1 to 7 for elementary, Grades 8 to 10 for high school, and Grades 11 to 12 for senior high school in preparation for college.

“What’s most important is that Grade 1-12 be seamless and that the curriculum have no gaps between the elementary school and high school levels,” Luz tells GMANews.TV in an email. “The rest of the world has added more years of formal basic education and this has helped them build stronger economies.”

The proposal to add more years to education is nothing new, says Raymond Palatino, the representative of youth party-list Kabataan in Congress.

Former president Joseph Estrada had the pre-baccalaureate program, which proposed an additional year for high school, while President Arroyo introduced the optional one-year Bridge program for incoming high school students who scored low in the High School Readiness Test (HSRT) for English, Math, and Science.

In 2005, the DepEd conceptualized the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) in response to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary schooling by 2015. The BESRA also proposes two additional years to basic education.

Additional school years, however, were never made mandatory due to opposition from some groups and budgetary constraints.

Palatino says, “All presidents, at the beginning of their terms, want to add one or two years in elementary or high school. The problem: funds. Lack of funds. Where will the new president source the funds?”

ACT Teachers party-list president Antonio Tinio, who taught the P.I. 100 (Rizal’s life and works) course at the University of the Philippines for 18 years before he resigned last semester to prepare for his work as incoming congressman representing his group, says Aquino should prioritize lifting the quality of education over quantity.

“Yung kasalukuyang sampung taon nga natin ng basic education hindi nai-deliver nang maayos ng gobyerno,” laments Tinio in a phone interview. “Sa ganyang kalagayan pano naman natin pag-uusapan pa yung pagdagdag ng dalawa pang taon?”

Ritchie, mother of five, can barely afford to send four of her kids to school even though she doesn’t have to pay tuition.

A mother of five, 33-year-old Ritchie Escubido, says she can barely make ends meet as she is sending four of her kids—aged 13, 11, 8 and 5—to school even though she’s jobless and her husband works as a finishing carpenter on an irregular basis.

“Mahirap,” she says. “Kung dadagdagan pa, lalo pang mahirap.”

Big Spender

Expanding the basic education system to 12 years will definitely cost a lot. Aquino’s education team admits that an investment of close to P100 billion, or P20 billion a year from 2011 to 2017, will be needed to build additional schools and classrooms, hire more teachers, buy more textbooks and equipment, and pay for operating expenses.

These figures do not even include the necessary funding for the additional one year of universal pre-schooling that Aquino also wants to implement during his term. According to his team’s own estimate, this could cost P9.6 to P11.1 billion a year.

“Families will have to bear additional costs whether in public or private schools. The real argument though should be that the additional two years of basic education/schooling should translate into better chances at a good university education or work,” says Luz.

Aquino has more proposals to improve education: strengthening the science and math curricula, expanding assistance to private schools, and building more schools in coordination with LGUs.

But Palatino points out that Aquino’s basic education agenda somewhat “mirrors” the education program of the Arroyo administration.

“Under an Aquino presidency, expect no fundamental change in the education programs of the country,” says the young lawmaker.

Palatino, however, concedes that Aquino’s education agenda has “specific proposals on the amount needed to revive Philippine education.”

Luz, who once served as DepEd undersecretary for finance and administration, says Aquino will work on allocating six percent of GDP to education, as recommended by the UNESCO: 4.5 percent for the DepEd, and 1.5 percent for tertiary education and private elementary and high schools.

Aquino will also work on making the budget allocation for education closer to 18 percent of the total national budget, Luz says. He added that under the Arroyo administration, only around 2.4 percent of the GDP or 11 to 12 percent of the total national budget was spent for education.

Where will they get the funds? Aquino has promised throughout the campaign to increase the government’s budget by plugging loopholes in tax collection and getting rid of corruption. Because of Aquino’s clean record and strong anti-corruption stance, investors are also expected to gain confidence in the Philippines and boost economic growth.

President Arroyo’s erstwhile economic adviser, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda who defected to the LP in the middle of the election period, estimates that P642 billion in investments would likely enter the Philippines in the first 18 months alone of the Aquino presidency.

Problem areas

To start over, Aquino plans to get rid of Arroyo programs such as the education voucher system, which gives financial assistance to qualified beneficiaries but is largely seen as a vehicle for political patronage.

He also promises tougher screening for textbooks to ensure that sub-standard and erroneous books would not make its way into schools, and into the minds of the youth.

Madaris education with Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education as additional subjects will also be offered in public schools for Muslim Filipinos.

Some of the things Aquino intends to do for the rest of the country, such as his goal to end the conflict in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, will also ultimately benefit school children, says Abad.

“In those areas, to be able to go to school without interruption, you also have to make sure that the peace process is pursued and that development is introduced. Instead of going to war, you introduce livelihood,” Abad says.

Aquino’s dedication to the peace process was obvious early on: even before his proclamation as president, Aquino had already instructed former presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Deles (later announced to be his own peace adviser) to get a briefing from Malacañang on the status of the peace negotiations.

Aquino has yet to name his education secretary, although rumors are rife that Abad might make a comeback or De La Salle University president Bro. Armin Luistro might take the reins of the DepEd starting June 30.

Whoever he appoints will have to bear a heavy load, as the UN’s goal of primary schooling for all by 2015 falls under Aquino’s watch. –


Filed under: Department of Education, Education,

12-yr education cycle under Aquino mulled

MANILA, Philippines – A plan to add 2 more years to the country’s basic education cycle will soon be a reality under the Aquino presidency, according to Aquino’s campaign manager Florencio “Butch” Abad.

Abad, who is rumored to be the future education secretary of Aquino, said the 12-year education cycle is part of the 10-point agenda proposed by Liberal Party bet and President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III during the campaign.

The 12-year education plan includes 7 years of primary (elementary) education, and five years of secondary (high school) education.

He said the proposal also includes one year of pre-school for pupils before entering Grade 1.

Abad said the current 10-year basic education cycle in the Philippines is already obsolete since most nations already implement a 12-year education plan.

He said one Japanese consultant noted that Filipino students end up being more tired than Japanese students “because we cram so many subjects in such a short period of time.”

“What happens is that there are subjects that high school graduates don’t really get to focus on, like introduction to calculus or the science and math subjects. Students aren’t given enough time to study and delve deeper into the subjects,” he told radio dzMM.

He added that in some countries, Filipino graduates are required to study for another 2 years to make up for the lack of years spent in school.

Abad said students in Japan and South Korea actually spend up to 14 years in school before entering college to make them more competitive.

He also noted that adding more education years would allow the Department of Education to focus on new subjects such as information and communications technology.

Abad said many parents complain about the proposed 12-year education cycle because they want their kids to finish high school and start working immediately.

“They don’t want their kids to go to college. They just want the kids to work so that they will benefit from them,” he said.

He said one option being studied by the new administration is to extend President Arroyo’s conditional cash transfer program. The program gives P1,500 to impoverished families whose kids are in school.

“We may need to extend that program so that the parents will get some support or subsidy while their kids are in school,” he said.

He also noted that the Aquino administration needs to address the classroom shortage in more than 45,000 public schools nationwide.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) earlier said the country needs an additional 61,343 classrooms to accommodate the more than 21 million students this year.

Filed under: Department of Education, Education

Do not deny any student – DepEd

By GUIA TRINIDAD, Contributor

Amid the problem on classroom shortages, the Department of Education (DepEd) has instructed its officials to accommodate all children of school age in the more than 45,000 public schools nationwide.

These include all enrollees and transferees with incomplete documents as well as those who were never enrolled or are out of school for years.

“Every Filipino child must be assured of the opportunity to get high quality education that will make him or her, a whole person, a responsible citizen, and lead him or her to a successful entrepreneurial venture,” said Education Secretary Mona Valisno.

Valisno also said that she is counting on the creativity and innovativeness of the school principals and teachers in order to accommodate all those who will enroll, and calls on school heads to work with the community and the private sector in campaigning for more enrollees.

“With your support we can very well go beyond the estimated 23.4 million school children and move towards reaching 100 percent participation,” Valisno said.

She also reminded school officials and parents that even though enrollees with incomplete documents would be accepted, they must still complete the lacking documents as soon as they can.

For those who were out of school, they will be given the accreditation and equivalency test (A&E) to get them back to the mainstream of Education.


The DepEd has also came up with a way on how to decongest public high schools; the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) will support poor but deserving students to enroll in private high schools. Valisno is positive that the problem on classroom, shortages will be addressed and efforts shall be undertaken to coordinate possible solutions with concerned agencies and patterns like the local government, other government agencies, private businesses, community leaders and private individuals.

DepEd is also opening its Oplan Balik Eskwela – Command Center (OBE-CC) in its national headquarters in Pasig to help parents get their children to school. Similar action-centers are also open in various regional, provincial and city offices of DepEd.

(The writer is a Journalism major at the University of Sto. Tomas)

Filed under: Department of Education, Education

ROTC option in NSTP made ‘more attractive’


MANILA, Philippines – The National Service Training Program (NSTP) will undergo a major revamp this year with college students being required to initially undergo a 25-hour lecture module before they can choose which of the 3 program tracks they want to pursue.

The Philippine military sees this development as an opportunity to make the Reserve Officers Training Course (ROTC), which is managed by the military, “more attractive”.

Enacted in 2001 as a response to calls to revamp the ROTC, then a required course for all male college students and reportedly prone to abuses, the NSTP law effectively made the ROTC optional as it gave students the option to take two other tracks the Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS), or the Literacy Training Service (LTS).

The NSTP law requires all students in the tertiary level, including those taking 2-year vocational courses, to take any of the three separate tracks for 60 hours.

The NSTP’s implementing rules were amended last February, however, to pave the way for a common module that all college students must now take.

Philippine Army spokesman Maj. Ronald Jess Alcudia said this module intends to help college students understand the NSTP and its components – the ROTC, the CWTS and the LTS.

According to Alcudia, “We are making our ROTC more attractive for the youth…This is optional but the defense of our country should not be optional,” said Alcudia.

He said that through the lecture series, students will be made aware of disaster response preparations, leadership and national security issues.

Alcudia could not say what will be the nature of the lecture on national security, saying the 25-hour module will be pursued by officials in charge of the ROTC, CWTS and LTS.

Alcudia said the military is just waiting for the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for the implementing directive. “We do not know the status. But we are coordinating with the CHED regarding the implementing directive,” he said.

Alcudia added that the changes are supposed to be implemented during this school year.

‘We in the Army…are preparing in case [we] will be tapped to coordinate with the schools to come up with the module lectures,” he said.

The 25-hour lecture module is included in the 60 hours under the NSTP course that students are required to undergo, according to Alcudia. –

Filed under: Department of Education, Education,

DEPED to Congress: Ratify Special Education Act

By Mitchelle L. Palabusanon/JPM (The Freeman) 

CEBU, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) is urging the House of Representatives to ratify the Special Education Act of 2010, as the passage of this bill will finally give due attention to the education of 5.49 million children with special needs (CSN) and people with disability in our country.

Deped Secretary Mona D. Valisno, in a statement, said that only two percent of Filipino children with special needs are able to get support from the government, unlike in other countries where they get 100% state support.

The passage of the law, Valisno said, will pave the way for the creation of a new Bureau of Special Education along with the existing bureaus of elementary, secondary, and alternative learning.

The law will also mandate the creation of at least one SPED center in each city and province of the country.

If approved, the new bureau will be tasked to formulate an appropriate curriculum and other appropriate programs to achieve functional literacy for all children with special needs.

Under the bill, the DepEd will prepare a scheme for financial and medical assistance, including nutritional programs, to poor but deserving children with special needs.

It will also draw up incentives to encourage private sector participation in the education and rehabilitation of children with special needs.

The education department estimated that there are 5.49 million CSNs in the Philippines or 13 percent of the total population of children.

Deped added that of this number, an estimated 4.2 million are persons with disabilities while1.27 million are gifted children. — THE FREEMAN

Filed under: Department of Education, Education,

Teachers not ready for sex education, prolife group claims

The unpreparedness of teachers to guide pupils on the subject may yet be the biggest snag in government’s sex-education program, a pro-life group claimed on Saturday.

Many teachers themselves grew up in environments where the subject was considered taboo, pro-life group Philippines Foundation Executive Director Marisa Wasan said.

“So how can we make this program successful when the ones who will execute them are unprepared and unmotivated?” Wasan said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news site.

Wasan urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to reassess its decision to include sex education in schools in time for the opening of classes on June 15.

DepEd, she said, should instead be consistent in its vision of helping Filipino children achieve their full potential in a learning environment suited to them.

She also stressed the primary right to instruct children on sexual matters belongs to the parents or children’s guardians, and not to the school.

“Although schools have the right and duty to assist parents in this undertaking, sexual morality must not be imparted in a group setting while this moral education must conform to the tradition and teaching of religion and culture,” she said.

Wasan cited complaints from her group’s members that teachers supposed to teach the subject are apparently not well trained, “so they ignore the curriculum or do not know how to deal with it.”

Pro-Life also expressed concern the targeted students are as young as 11 years old, and the program includes “videos and sessions [that encourage] use of contraceptives and [show] situations involving decision-making over committing sexual intercourse.”

“If we teach children to use condoms, we tell them in effect that it is all right to have sex thus they gain a false assurance in a situation where they themselves should not be trying out at an early age,” Wasan said.

“Yes, knowledge is power but if they are given to the wrong hands, it could be detrimental,” she added.

She said sex and sexuality, “by their very nature are private and intimate,” so teaching sex education in school would make them “public and open,” because “education is an activity which is essentially public.”

Wasan said she sees no reason for sex education to be taught as a separate subject in school since education on sexuality is already integrated in various programs.

The DepEd, however, said sex education would be integrated in other subjects.

“If sex education is about the anatomy of the reproductive system, sophomores take up Biology and elementary students get a basic glimpse in their Science and Health subjects. If sex education is about personal hygiene, don’t we learn that from our Good Manners and Right Conduct subject? And if sex education is about chastity and delayed
gratification, aren’t those handled already by Values Education teachers?” she said.

On the other hand, Wasan acknowledged the department’s efforts to curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and lower pregnancy rates among teens by stressing abstinence.

by  GMANews.TV


Filed under: Department of Education, Education,

DepEd: No more triple shifts in public schools

This coming school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) said it will do away with “triple shifts” in all public elementary and high schools nationwide.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno said 97 percent of 44,114 public elementary and secondary public schools already have “single shift” or “one shift” while there is a remaining 2.18 percent that still practice “double shifts” or “two shifts.” “The double shift is inevitable since we want to accommodate all the children who want to enroll but DepEd is trying its best to eliminate the double shift to ensure quality of education,” she explained.

In an interview, DepEd Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya revealed that compared to the previous years, there is a significant decrease in the number of schools that implement the double and triple shifts. “As much as possible, we don’t want to implement double or triple shifts this school year to maximize learning among students and lessen the burden of the teachers in handling their classes as well,” he said.

Based on the reports of DepEd, there is a steady decline in the number of schools engaging in double shifting and triple shifting. In fact, last year, there were only 100 schools that implement the triple shifting. “But for this school year, we are finally eliminating these last 100 schools,” he said.

Malaya also noted that the schools that engage in double and triple shifts are those located in Metro Manila and in other urban areas nationwide. “Those schools in the provinces, majority of them have been implementing one shift already,” he explained.

Data released by the DepEd-Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division (PFSED) revealed that 3,613 additional classrooms are expected to be completed before the classes start Tuesday, which will augment the 429,390 existing classrooms. Malaya said that the Department is looking at a total of 10,000 new classrooms to be completed before this year ends.

Overall, Malaya concluded that the opening of classes in the elementary and secondary level in public schools next week is more manageable. This, according to him, was made possible by the accelerated construction of classrooms by DepEd in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

For Susan Lambino, mother to incoming third year high school student Michael and incoming freshman student Liza, the elimination of triple shifts is a very good news. “My son used to belong in the 4 to 9pm shift when he was in second year. It was so hard to force him to go to school since it is already late in the afternoon,” she explained in Filipino.

In the triple shifting, classes start at 6 to 11 a.m.; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. while in the double shift, classes start from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) national chairman Benjo Basas said that it would be more ideal to have one shift in all grade and year levels. “We are one with DepEd in accommodating all children who wish to go to school but we would also want to remind them that quality of instruction should be the utmost priority,” he said.

TDC said that with the elimination of triple shifts, teachers will be forced to accommodate more students in the morning and afternoon shifts. “We have to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate all the enrollees while ensuring that quality of learning will be given to them as much as possible,” Basas explained.

Currently, there is 1:45 classroom to student ratio but it is expected that there will be 1:60 ratio because the estimated enrollees for SY 2010-2011 are around 23.43 million compared to 22.39 million in SY  2009-2010.

Filed under: Department of Education, Education,

DepEd to watch Internet shops for class-cutting pupils

Students cutting classes to play online games may have to play hide-and-seek instead with monitoring teams from the Department of Education (DepEd).

According to dzBB radio, DepEd secretary Mona Valisno has ordered a tighter watch on Internet cafés, particularly those in school zones, during class hours.

Valisno said the DepEd has received many reports of students cutting classes and spending their time online instead, playing online games or dabbling in social networking sites such as Facebook and Friendster. More worrisome, she noted, are the students who would visit pornographic sites.

Valisno appealed to owners of Internet cafés not to allow students –especially those still in uniform– to spend time in their establishments, especially during class hours.

The DepEd’s move coincides with efforts by local government units to regulate Internet shops in time for the opening of classes on June 15.

In Iligan City, for example, dzXL radio reported that city authorities are tightening regulations on Internet shops to discourage students from playing hooky. The Iligan city mayor’s office also ordered inspections of the Internet shops to see if they have the proper business permits.



Filed under: Campus Talk, Department of Education, Education, Youth,

DepEd, may module na para sa pagtuturo ng sex education; Ilang grupo ng mga guro, suportado ang bagong curriculum


May module na ang Department of Education (DepEd) para sa pagtuturo ng sex education sa mga estudyante simula sa darating na pasukan sa Hunyo 15.

Sa panayam ng ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), sinabi ni Education Secretary Mona Valisno na maaari itong isama sa health and science subjects kung saan ipaiintindi sa mga mag-aaral sa grade 5 at grade 6 ang mga parte at kasarian ng lalaki at babae.

Ang usapin naman anya na tungkol mismo sa sex ay sa high school na mainam ituro.

Inihayag ni Valisno na 79 public high school sa bansa at ilan din sa elementarya ang unang pagtuturuan ng naturang subject sa darating na school year.

Tiniyak naman ni Valisno na ang pagtuturong gagawin sa mga estudyante ay hindi kontra sa religious belief ng mga Pilipino at makikipag-usap din sila sa religious sectors upang maipaliwanag ang kahalagahan ng sex education.

Samantala, suportado naman ng ilang grupo ng mga guro ang pagsasama ng sex education sa curriculum ng mga estudyante.

Sinabi ng ng mga grupong Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) at Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (ASSERT) na seryosong usapin ang sex kaya dapat pagyamanin ang paraan ng pagtuturo nito.

Hindi anila dapat ginagawang biro ang usapin sa sex kaya sang-ayon silang maituro ito sa mga estudyanteng may sapat nang pag-iisip o nasa tama nang edad.

Inihayag pa ng TDC, ACT at ASSERT na ang mga guro ang itinuturing na ikalawang magulang ng mga estudyante kaya natural lamang na maging kabahagi sila sa pagtuturo ng sex education kaysa magmula ito sa mga itinuturing na polluted source gaya ng internet.

Filed under: Department of Education, Education, , ,

Karagdagang budget sa edukasyon, hiniling ng DepEd kay incoming President Noynoy Aquino


UMAPELA ang Department of Education kay incoming President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino na dagdagan ang budget para sa edukasyon.

Ayon kay Education Sec. Mona Valisno, layon nitong matuldukan ang kinakaharap nilang sandamakmak na problema.

Aniya, kulang na kulang kasi ang nakalaang pondo na 2 percent Gross National Product (GNP) para makamit ang kanilang target.

Tinatayang nasa dalawampu’t tatlong milyong mag-aaral ang bubuhos sa mga pampublikong paaralan ngayong darating na pasukan kung saan mas mataas ito ng dalawang milyon kumpara noong 2009.

Pangunahin pa rin nilang problema ang kakulangan sa silid-aralan, guro, libro, armchairs, laboratoryo at mga teknolohiya ang maraming paaralan sa bansa.

Filed under: Department of Education, Education, ,

DepEd orders drug test


The Department of Education (DepEd) announced Wednesday it will conduct anew its nationwide Random Drug Testing (RDT) this coming school year in private and public secondary schools.

The order is a follow-up to its drug test in 2009 where 72 out of 29,059 students tested positive for drug use or a prevalence rate of 0.24 percent.

Majority of the students who were confirmed positive for illegal drug use were from Metro Manila.

DepEd Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the RDT was conducted among secondary students from February to December last year through the collaborated efforts of DepEd, Department of Health (DoH), and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

“It was conducted among secondary students in compliance with a presidential directive to include for testing all public and private secondary schools,” he said.

In more than 10,000 schools where the RDT was conducted, the initial results showed that there were 90 positive cases from the screening test. “But the final results show that 72 were confirmed wherein 70 students use marijuana and two use shabu,” said Malaya.

Although it was revealed that there was 0.24 percent or less than one percent confirmed positive from the testing, DepEd was saddened by the final result. “We are half-heartened but rest assured that we will strengthen our campaign against illegal drug use. It does not start and end here,” Malaya added.

To ensure that the 23 million incoming elementary and high school students will be informed about illegal drug use and its ill effects, DepEd continues to strengthen the implementation of the National Drug Education Program (NDEP).

“This gives emphasis to the integration of drug prevention concepts in appropriate subject or learning areas at both elementary and secondary levels and alternative learning system, and in co-curricular activities,” explained Malaya.

Although there is a relatively low rate of drug use among secondary students in the 2009 RDT, DepEd encouraged NDEP program coordinators to urge principals of schools – those who have students with positive cases – to come up with specific interventions.

“They are also encouraged to conduct periodic monitoring of program implementation in close coordination with the local government units and other concerned government and non-government organizations,” said Malaya.

DepEd also lauded the efforts of guidance counselors in the secondary schools because they were the ones who were more active in initiating different school activities that were geared toward drug abuse prevention.

Last year, DepEd and DoH officials discussed the coverage and the best practices as well as the issues and concerns for the program with RDT team members. The 2010 Work and Financial Plan for the drug testing and intervention was also formulated.

Filed under: Campus Talk, Department of Education, Department of Health, Education, Sorsogon News Updates,

DepEd, nagdeklara ng giyera kontra ‘Jejemon’

By RMN News

MARIING tinututulan ng Dept. of Education ang pag-iba sa spelling ng mga salita na ginagamit sa pag-text o ang napapa-usong ‘Jejemon’ lingo.

Ayon kay DepEd Sec. Mona Valisno, hindi tama na ibahin ang pagbabaybay ng mga salita dahil hindi maganda sa paningin at lumilikha lamag ng kalituhan sa mga nagbabasa.

Kaugnay nito, hinimok niya ang mga gruo na ituro sa mga estudyante ang tamang pag-babaybay ng mga salita.

Hinimok din ni Valisno ang publiko na isulat ang buong salita sa pag-text upang mas matuto sa spelling at hwag gayahin ang mga jejemon

Filed under: Department of Education, Education, ,

Tech-voc graduates up – DepEd


The strengthened technical vocational (tech-voc) curriculum of the Department of Education (DepEd) continued to produce a new generation of high-skilled workforce as it generated a total of 1,751 holders of competency certificate after they passed various skills test administered by a national certifying body.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno said that with the kind of training and preparation the DepEd has been providing its students, it is anticipating an increase in the number of tech-voc graduates who will pass the highly-competitive skills test of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

DepEd, under the Strengthened Technical-Vocational Education Program (STVEP), supervises a total of 282 tech-voc high schools where students can take specialization in automotive, computer hardware service, cosmetology, furniture, and cabinet-making, garments, air conditioning and refrigeration, food production, crop production, food processing, fish culture, and fish capture, among others.

“These fields of specialization are taken alongside academic subjects, thus producing graduates who are ready for both the world of work and higher education whichever they choose,” she said.

Valisno added that there are more than 4,000 tech-voc graduating students nationwide who have yet to complete this school year’s TESDA-administered skills assessment

Filed under: Department of Education, Education,

DepEd, nilinaw ang pagbubukas ng unang araw ng klase sa Hunyo a-kinse

(10:49 AM) NILINAW ngayon ng Department of Education (DepEd) na magsisimula ang unang araw ng pasukan sa Hunyo a-kinse.

Ito ay sa kabila ng kaliwa’t kanang kwestiyon kung bakit Martes at hindi Lunes ang unang araw ng pasukan.

Ayon ay DepEd Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, sa June 12 ay ipagdiriwang ang Independence day, kaya’t sa susunod na Lunes, June 14 – matatapat ang nasabing Economic holiday.

Nakasaad sa Republic Act 9492 na ipinasa noong 2007 na ililipat ang ilang holiday sa pinakamalapit na Lunes maliban sa pasko at bagong taon

Source: RMN News

May 21, 2010

Filed under: Department of Education, Education, ,

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