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  • Jan 25 2008

    Int’l Forum on Skills Development for Poverty Alleviation set at DepEd

    Representatives from 20 countries will convene to discuss the best practices in poverty mitigation in the International Forum on Skills Development for Poverty Alleviation on January 25-26, 2008 at the Department of Education (DepEd) Central Office, Pasig City.

    Spearheaded by Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education (CPSC), the forum is in collaboration with the Department of Education, Government of the Philippines and with the cooperation of the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre in Bonn, Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Training Foundation, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), ILO Sub-Regional Centre, Southeast Asian Minister Organization (SEAMEO), and other development partners and institutions.

    Speakers and delegates are expected to come from member countries of CPSC regional program like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, India, Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Sri Lanka as well as other participating countries.

    “We thank the CSPC in opening avenues such as this forum where international and regional development organizations can have a chance to come up with a collective response to poverty issues through skills development,” says Education Secretary Jesli Lapus who will serve as keynote speaker of the event.

    The event will allow delegates to learn lessons from experiences, to develop curriculum framework for capacity building and to examine issues and challenges for those seeking gainful employment.

    The resource speakers are from development partners such as UNESCOUNEVOC, ADB Regional and Sustainable Development Department (RSDD), UN FAO, European Training Foundation, SEAMEO Regional Centers. Topics to be discussed include modular employable skills, entrepreneurship skills, job skills, youth employment, retraining of adult workers, reskilling of older workers, retraining of adult workers, e-community services, empowerment of women, life skills, ICT skills and technical and vocational skills for poverty
    alleviation.

    The symposium will be inaugurated by Mr Rajat Nag, Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and will be addressed by Dr. Efison Munjanganja, Head of UNESCO UNEVOC International Centre.

    Dr. Shyamal Majumdar, Director General of CPSC says that, “The symposium will give the impetus for rethinking ways to develop and come up with strategies that can take advantage of the cooperation and synergy of organizations with common goals. Eradicating poverty has proven to be a big challenge for all of us. More than 1.7 billion people in Asia are estimated to still be living below US$ 2 per day and some are way beyond overcoming poverty crisis.”

    He adds, “As an ultimate goal, we want to know what necessary agenda we should focus on to address the crisis of skills that besets rural poor, ageing society, women and indigenous communities. Another level of skills crisis is also experienced by those who have graduated, but whose skills become easily obsolete or totally irrelevant to satisfy gainful work opportunities.”

    CPSC is an inter-governmental organization hosted by the Philippines and based in Manila. It is mandated to improve technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the region. For the symposium, it aims to provide venue for discussion and sharing of knowledge and experience of the various development agencies in the region and outside the region, in dealing with the dimensions, issues and approaches for effective skill development intervention

    Majumdar says, “Life-long skills empower the grassroots and eliminate the idea of isolation just because they don’t have the skills relevant to join gainful work opportunities. The principal route out of poverty is generating employment and/or promoting self-employment. For that, we need to develop technical and other relevant skills to begin with.”

    CPSC facilitates the collective response to poverty issues in Asia Pacific region through sharing of scopes, solutions and strategies in the context of skill development programs and initiatives.

     

     

  • Jan 24 2008

    DepEd Bicol rehab nears completion

    The Department of Education reports a 98 percent actual physical accomplishment in the construction and repair of school buildings under the Bicol Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Efforts (BCARE).

    “We have informed President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that of all government agencies in Bicol, DepEd is the first among BCARE agencies to complete its rehabilitation targets,” said BCARE Commission Executive Director Dr Anthony Golez during the last inter-agency coordinating meeting last January 17 at Camp Aguinaldo.

    BCARE has identified 2,220 school sites where some 771 new classrooms are up for construction and 7,142 are for repairs.

    Figures from DepEd's Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division (PFSED) showed that as of January 7, 2008, classroom construction and repair are proceeding at a steady pace with all provinces reaching almost 100-percent completion in the repair and construction of new school buildings.

    DepEd is still short of full accomplishment. Specifically, in the case of Maipon Elementary School whose buildings were completely covered by mud, the entire school needs to be relocated to another site. A few other schools are yet to complete construction due to its isolated locations that limit delivery of construction materials. These schools are either located on separate islands or in remote areas no easily accessible to vehicular traffic.

    Under BCARE, DepEd has earmarked some P1.2 billion for the construction of new classrooms and repair of damaged ones in Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

    BCARE is similar to a mini-Marshall plan specifically put up to rehabilitate Bicol after suffering the brunt of the succession of super typhoons in 2006. The effort of the United States to rebuild and strengthen allied countries in Europe after World War II was called the Marshall Plan, named after then Secretary of State George Marshall.

    DepEd also constructed 15 typhoon-resistant school buildings in Camarines Sur, Legaspi City, and Albay. Six more buildings of this type are being put up around Bicol with funding from the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Another six will be constructed in Region 4-B MIMAROPA also through UNICEF.

    This new type of school building doubles as academic classroom and evacuation center. It is made of concrete and steel and elevated one meter above the ground.

     

     

  • Jan 24 2008

    New Bicol classrooms can last 50 years

    Education Secretary Jesli Lapus inaugurates today typhoon-resistant school buildings in Camarines Sur that were designed to last for at least half a century – part of the department’s efforts to rehabilitate school buildings damaged by super typhoons Milenyo and Reming in 2006. The Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Efforts (CARE) was initiated by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to bring together all agencies that implement projects for typhoon-affected areas.

    Through the Bicol CARE or BCARE, these typhoon-resistant classrooms that double as evacuation centers were constructed one each in Minalabac Elementary School and Baao West Central School. Eleven more schools are being constructed in Camarines Sur, one in Albay and two in Legaspi City.

    “Since Bicol is frequently battered by typhoons, our school buildings should be made to serve not only our students but the community as well especially in times of calamities,” Lapus said. “We are witness to the damage a typhoon can cause houses in rural areas. Since our schools are always used as evacuation centers, we must therefore have the strongest structures to withstand the worst calamities.”

    The two-classroom building is equipped with a kitchen, two toilets and bath, a ramp for the disabled, and with the provision of a roof deck, it can provide six families with a safe and decent living space during times of calamities. To prevent flooding inside the property, the building floor line is elevated one meter above the ground.

    Another two-storey, four-classroom school building in Triangulo Elementary School in Naga City was inaugurated by Lapus during his visit. BCARE is part of the CARE program of the government that addresses repair and rehabilitation of schools in typhoon-stricken areas. DepEd has identified 2,220 school sites where some 771 new classrooms are up for construction and 7,142 are for repairs in the Bicol region alone.

    BCARE Commission Executive Director Dr Anthony Golez, during the latest coordination meeting held at the Department of National Defense, commended DepEd for being the first among BCARE agencies to complete its rehabilitation targets.

    DepEd still awaits the relocation of Maipon Elementary School for it to start the construction of new buildings. The whole school was completely covered by mud flow during the typhoons. A new site is currently being sought. There are also other schools in isolated locations that limit delivery of construction materials.

    Under the BCARE program, DepEd undertook construction of 771 new classrooms and repair of 7,142 damaged ones in Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon. BCARE is similar to a mini-Marshall plan specifically put up to rehabilitate Bicol after suffering the brunt of the succession of super typhoons in 2006.

     

     

  • Jan 23 2008

    DepEd joins week-long celebration of Autism Consciousness Week

    To give due attention to persons with autism, the Department of Education’s Special Education Division (DepEd-SPED) joins the inter-agency week-long celebration of Autism Consciousness Week which will be held from January 20 to 26, 2008.

    “We should create conditions that will allow persons with autism to live with dignity and contribute productively to society,” Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said.

    With the theme Hope Abounds…For Individuals with Autism, this event seeks to mobilize concerned agencies and organizations to provide attention to persons with autism.

    Slated is an On the Spot painting contest on January 23 at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Conference Room, sponsored by DENR and DepEd.

    Meanwhile, on January 25 at Lagro Elementary School, a free therapy session will be conducted from 8 AM onwards.

    These activities will culminate with Angels Walk for Autism on January 27, 2008 at the Liwasang Aurora, Quezon Memorial Circle. Interested participants may register at 6 AM and no fees will be collected.

    The Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP) and the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP) will join DepEd in the celebration. Teachers and heads of special education in public and private schools are also encouraged to participate in the abovementioned activities.

    Proclamation No. 711 declares every third week of January as Autism Consciousness Week. With this, the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), together with DepEd, are mandated to come up with means to provide early diagnosis, therapy, education and treatment to persons with autism.

     

     

  • Jan 23 2008

    School-Based Management - Paving the way for next-gen educators

    When school teacher Monica Sison accepted the post as head of the Avocado Elementary School (AES) in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental, she had already set in mind the task she wanted to accomplish -- ensure that the students get the education they are entitled to, even if it meant reviving the school that had been closed for six years.

    The forerunner of the AES was burned down during hostilities between the New People’s Army and government forces. The area was declared a no man’s land as a result of the armed conflict. By force of the situation, the old school became non-operational from 1986 to 1992. Avoiding being caught in a crossfire, school children had to dodge the military and rebel’s bullets – losing along the way their opportunity to be in school.

    In 1992, then Governor Emilio Macias entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the NPAs. One of the provisions of the MOA was the establishment of a new school. This paved the way for the opening of the AES in 1994 by the DepEd Division Office in Negros Oriental. In 1996 Sison had to be assigned as ordinary teacher by the Division Superintendent to this far-flung school bringing with her a wealth of experience from teaching in private schools in Dumaguete City. Two teachers came ahead of her. Both did not stay long.

    Sison could have chosen a far better assignment. After all, she topped the ranking of qualified personnel to fill the position of school teacher and she can choose posting in better-situated schools if she cares to. She, however, let her sense of mission decide. And so she packed her bags and found her way to far-off Sitio Avocado.

    “The students, young and adults, who have lost six years of education really need help,” stressed Sison. There were 66 students and the school had only grades 1 and 2 classes.

    Sison noticed that there was already an established pattern in the area when she came in – when students are done with the first two years in elementary, they only have two “ career path “ waiting for them -- either they get armed or they worked in the farm. “ I saw the urgency of breaking the cycle.”

    Sison then asked the District Supervisor of the Department of Education (DepEd) to allow her to open higher grade levels so that the children can continue with their schooling. Her request was not readily granted owing to lack of funds to hire new teachers. Eventually, when the higher grade levels were finally opened, some of the students were already adults yet were still in Grade 3.

    To say that Sison was multi-tasking was an understatement. She was actually doing so much at such a frenetic pace -- holding classes in all levels and running the school at the same time. She asked some of her adult students to act as her aide to look after the other classes when she was teaching in other levels. And because these adult students sometimes missed their class for acting as Sison’s aides, she held Saturday classes for them.

    “Never did I consider it a burden. It was an opportunity, in fact, a blessing,” she said. And the school thrived under her care. Eventually, positive changes set in -- DepEd was able to allocate funds to improve its facilities and hire additional teachers. Eventually, in 2005, DepEd appointed Sison as Principal of AES.

    Today, AES has 250 elementary pupils, 27 in kindergarten and 125 high school students. This is sufficient proof that she has succeeded in bringing back the resident’s interest in education which they have momentarily lost during the long years of conflict.

    Under the School Based Management program being implemented by the Department of Education, school heads like Sison are at liberty to explore ways by which they can run the school most beneficial to the school community. When the first batch of students graduated from high school, Sison and the other teachers helped them by looking for scholarship grants that could help bankroll their college education. “We approached the provincial governor, other private organizations and individuals. Talagang hindi namin pinabayaan ang mga estudyante,” she added.

    For her, to be able to send students to college was already an accomplishment. “For a life given to farming, venturing into college was indeed a big step for our students.” And the people have been very supportive. “Some shouldered the tuition fees while the AES teachers provided the students’ personal needs like uniforms and shoes.

    To date, the community is supporting 11 college students at the Negros Oriental State University in Sta. Catalina, some 24 kilometers away from Sitio Avocado. By March 2008, two students will finally get their college diploma in Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education – they are Amado Callura and Irene Pandac. Looking back, Sison said: “I saw in them the thirst for education. And that is reason enough for me to stay and give my best.

    That Callura and Pandac took up education is an affirmation that they will carry the torch for the next generation of selfless educators. And Sison owns the bragging rights for making that possible.

     

     

  • Jan 22 2008

    DepEd health and nutrition personnel to get hazard pay benefits

    Health and nutrition personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) will receive Hazard Pay benefits according to their salary grade retroactive CY2007. DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus has issued DepEd Order No. 82 series of 2007 directing central office finance officers, regional directors and schools division superintendents to provide the hazard pay of the public health workers. Those with Salary Grade 1 to 19 are entitled 25% of their actual present salary while those with Salary Grade 20 and above shall receive no more than P4,989 a month.

    Lapus noted, “Health and nutrition personnel’s entitlement to hazard pay is in consideration of the nature of their work, which exposes them to low to high risk areas or workplaces as they provide health services to school populace.” A number of these personnel are assigned in provinces identified by the Department of Health as vector – infested with malaria (26 highly endemic provinces) filarial (17 affected provinces and 23 suspected provinces), schistosoma (28 provinces) and capillaria, to name a few.

    “In times of calamities or emergencies, these personnel are in the forefront rendering basic health and nutrition services, and their direct contact with the children, teachers and non-teaching personnel, not to mention their interface with parents during home visitation, highly expose them to risks,” stressed the DepEd chief.

    The DepEd Order is in pursuant to Republic Act 7305 (RA 7305) entitled “Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.”

    RA 7305 aims to promote and improve the social and economic well-being of the health workers, their living and working conditions and terms of employment. It is intended to develop their skills and capabilities in order that they will be more responsive and better equipped to deliver health projects and programs. Likewise, the law encourages those with proper qualifications and excellent abilities to join and remain in government service.

    Since the RA 7305 was issued in 1994, the DepEd public health workers have started receiving subsistence and laundry allowance every month. The Department currently employs around 4,000 health workers.

    The Department recognizes that DepEd health and nutrition personnel at the central, regional and division field offices are public health workers that face occupational hazards similar to the public health workers engaged in healthrelated work wherever they are located.

    “It is expected that granting of Hazard Pay benefits will uplift the morale of our hardworking health personnel who choose to work in the country amidst prevailing lure of opportunities overseas,” Lapus said.

    He added, “We are fully aware of the direct relationship between good health and academic performance, and the importance and relevance of the services of the public health workers towards better health and nutrition to reduce dropout rates of our students.”

    Director Thelma Santos of DepEd’s Health and Nutrition Center has affirmed that this benefit has been well-received by DepEd health workers. In related development, DepEd remains focused in improving the teachers’ living standard by means of monetary and non-monetary benefits. In 2007, DepEd settled almost P3.4 billion pesos in unpaid insurance and health premiums of its employees.

    In its year-end report, DepEd stated that in 2007 it paid some P1.7 billion in arrears representing government shares in GSIS contribution. The arrears were a result of the increase in GSIS premium from 9.5% to 12% for the period of July 1997 to December 1998.

    Another P862 million was released to cover employees’ compensation insurance premium adjustments when the government insurance agency increased the premium from P30 to P100.

    Meanwhile, P400 million were released last year to partially settle unpaid loyalty pays, step increments and other entitlements of DepEd personnel especially teachers. DepEd field offices are already reconciling records for any other unpaid obligations.

    DepEd has also released P388 million to cover PhilHealth premium adjustments. The government health insurance company increased its premium from P100 to P112.

     

     

  • Jan 22 2008

    DepEd’s intensified programs led to better performance in 2007

    Owing to the relentless efforts to solve the concerns in public education, the Department of Education (DepEd) increased enrollment rate, improved the nutrition of schoolchildren, and registered better student performance in reading and achievement tests.

    ‘Bayanihan’ for enrollment increase

    The department has been annually conducting the Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela that aim to involve the community – most importantly the parents – in getting the schools ready for the opening of the school year. Local businesses and school boards have also been tapped to articipate in this yearly event.

    “We at the department are working towards the inclusion of as many learners as possible in the basic educational system,” DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus said. “We go the extra mile for every child to learn and finish school,” he added.

    Oplan Balik Eskwela is an inter-agency convergence effort initiated by DepEd to ensure the smooth opening of classes. On the other hand, Brigada Eskwela is a nationwide voluntary effort of teachers, parents, and the community to participate in the repair of school buildings and furniture.

    “We are constantly tapping the participation of all education stakeholders to make our schools more conducive for learning,” Lapus stressed. “This is ne perfect manifestation of the spirit of bayanihan, and how everyone is willing to contribute something for our children” he added.

    These campaigns have encouraged more parents to send their children to school, as reflected in this school year’s enrolment rate. Enrolment in the Preschool Education Program rose from 522,255 to 557,220 learners, or an increase of 6.70 per cent. Meanwhile, pupil attendance rose from 90 per cent in 2006 to 95 per cent in 2007.

    More nourished and more active pupils

    But the bigger challenge is to encourage these children to stay in school and improve their performance. To do this, DepEd has integrated health and nutrition programs to improve attendance and performance among public school children.

    By expanding its coverage to include more pupils, the School Feeding Program registered a 300 per cent increase in 2007. Having covered only preschool and grade 1 pupils in 2006, this program now benefits all pupils from preschool to grade 6 included in the priority provinces. The number of beneficiaries rose from 676,740 thousand preschool and grade 1 pupils in 2006 to 2.7 million preschool and grades one to six pupils in 2007.

    To supplement the distribution of fortified rice, milk, biscuits, and breakfast items to children below the normal nutritional status, pupils and teachers have also availed themselves of a comprehensive medical and dental treatment, with a separate deworming treatment for both pupils and teachers. As an effect, the percentage of schoolchildren below the normal
    nutritional status decreased from 20% in 2006 to 17% in 2007.

    “The department concerns itself not only with the schoolchildren’s academic performance, but also with their physical condition and wellbeing,” Lapus explained. “We are cognizant of how their nutrition status directly affects their performance in school,” he added.

    Consequently, there was an increase in attendance of elementary pupils in priority provinces which was registered at 90% in 2006 to 95% in 2007. Provinces under Priority One include: Camarines Norte and Masbate in Bicol, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay, and Lanao del Norte in Northern Mindanao.

    Also in the list are Sarangani in SOCCSKSARGEN, Mountain Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Maguindanao in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte in CARAGA. Priority One provinces are those that need hunger mitigation initiatives the most, as identified by the National Economic Development Authority and the National Nutrition Council.

    Improving achievement levels

    Critical to raising the achievement level of school children is the improvement of their reading skills. DepEd’s Every Child a Reader Program (ECARP) aims to make every student an effective reader by the third grade, and with comprehension before proceeding to the fourth grade.

    The Education Chief stressed that “one of the challenges we at the department face is how to spur the habit of reading among public school children.”

    The results of grade three reading tests show that from 2006 to 2007, there was an increase of 9.58 percentage points in English – from 49.98 MPS in 2006, it further rose to 59.56 MPS in 2007. MPS, or Mean Percentage Score, refers to the percentage of correctly answered items in a test. It indicates the ratio between the number of correctly answered items and the total number of test questions.

    As for Filipino, there was an increase of 12.47 percentage points – from 48.43 MPS in 2006 to 60.90 MPS in 2007.

    “Reading opens doors to further knowledge and facilitates the learning process,” the DepEd Chief stated. “And we at DepEd are intensifying our ECARP to make our schoolchildren enlightened and learned readers,” he added.

    As an effect of these reading programs, grade six pupils who took the National Achievement Test posted a net gain of 9.66 per cent across all five subjects – Mathematics, English, Science, Araling Panlipunan, and Filipino.

    These interventions are part of the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda. Among BESRA’s goals is to attain functional literacy among Filipino schoolchildren by 2015. It is also the department’s priority agenda to systematically improve basic education nationwide.

    Lapus reiterated that “the myriad problems in our educational system cannot be solved overnight.” But “these modest gains attest to our efforts to bring our resources to scale to gradually upgrade the quality of Philippine public education.”

     

     

  • Jan 19 2008

    DepEd welcomes Indonesian Education Chief

    The Department of Education welcomed recently Dr. Bambang Sudibyo, Indonesian Minister of Education, who visited the country in the fulfillment of his mandate as President of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO).

    DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus met with Dr. Sudibyo during the latter’s courtesy call in the Department, part of the minister’s itinerary in his visit to regional centers of the SEAMEO being hosted by the Philippines.

    “Regional cooperation is the trend in the international community. SEAMEO is a venue in exchanging best practices in the delivery of education that allows us to share and learn innovative approaches in teaching and learning,” Lapus said. Three SEAMEO centers are located in the Philippines. These are SEAMEO Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (INNOTECH) at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) based in UP Los Baños, Laguna, and Tropical Medicine and Public Health Network - Regional Center for Public Health (TROPMED Philippines) in UP Manila.

    Established in November 30, 1965, the SEAMEO as a chartered international organization promotes cooperation in education, science and culture in the Southeast Asian region. Its priority areas of cooperation are agriculture and natural resources, culture and tradition, information and communications technology, language, poverty alleviation, preventive health education, and quality and equity in education.

    SEAMEO member countries include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. Most of these countries host at least one of the 15 specialist institutions or regional centers. The Philippines annually sends teachers, administrators, and officials to these centers for trainings and seminars.

    Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Norway are recognized as associate member countries of SEAMEO and Japan as a partner country. Meanwhile, the International Center for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) joins the organization as an affiliate member.

     

     

  • Jan 16 2008

    Fact Sheet - 2007 DepEd Performance Report

    Bigger Budget Went to Improve Basic Education

    • There is a significant increase in DepEd budget from 2004 to 2007.
      • 2004 – P109.52 billion
      • 2005 – 112 billion
      • 2006 – 121.5 billion
      • 2007 – 137 billion
    • Sharing between salary and non-salary items improved in favor of the latter
    • From 88%:12% in 2004-2005, it was 80%:20% in 2007 which means that more resources were allocated to improve quality of education.
    • School MOOE also increased
    • P83 per elementary student in 2004 to P213 in 2007 or an increase of 156%
    • P329 per high school student in 2004 to P596 in 2007 or an increase of 81%.
    • Private sector involvement in upgrading public education also improved remarkably.
    • From P300 million in 2004 to P4 billion in 2007 involving 93 private sector partners

    Strengthened Preschool Education

    • Combined public and private preschool enrolment steadily increased from 2003 to 2007.
    • From 831,730 (18.36%) in SY 2003-2004 to 952,109 (20.53) in SY 2006-2007 or 120,379 (2.17%) schoolchildren added to the system.
    • More than half of these numbers (557,220 children) are with DepEd’s Preschool Program.
    • Standard curriculum for 5-year olds was formulated in 2005

    Elementary & Secondary Education Programs

    Increased Enrolment

    • Since 2004, enrolment increased at about 2% of the school-aged population annually.
    • SY 2006-2007 enrolment was P19.7 million for both elementary and secondary levels where 86% or 16.9 million are in public schools.
    • The figures include 607,085 beneficiaries of service contracting and education vouchers program under GASTPE, which represents about 50% of private high school enrolment.

    Improved Nutrition and School Attendance

    • Beneficiaries of the Food for School program increased from 676,740 preschool and grade 1 pupils in 2006 to 2.7 million preschoolers and grades 1 to 6 pupils when the program was expanded in 2007.
    • Malnutrition incidence dropped from 21% in 2006 to 17% in 2007.
    • School attendance improved from 90% in 2006 to 95% in 2007.

    Improving School Performance

    • Reading and comprehension skills of Grade 3 students improved from a composite MPS of 49.21% in 2006 in English and Filipino to 60.23 % in 2007 or a net gain of 11.02 %.
    • The gain is attributed to DepEd investing resources in such programs as Every Child a Reader Program (ECARP) which ensures that every Grade 3 student becomes an effective reader with comprehension at their level before they move to Grade 4.
    • The achievement level of Grade 6 students also improved significantly from an MPS of51.49% in 2006 to 57.55% in 2007 or an increment of 11.77% for English, Science andMath.
    • Net performance on all subjects improved from an MPS of 54.66% in 2006 to 59.94% in2007 or an over-all increase of 9.66%
    • Likewise, the General Scholastic Aptitude for fourth year high school students improved.

    Strengthened Technical-Vocational Education

    • Also in 2007, DepEd introduced the Strengthened Technical-Vocational Education Program aimed at giving more high school students more livelihood options in case theyare unable to pursue 4-year degree courses.

    Inroads in ICT-based Education

    • DepEd’s adoption of ICT in education proceeded steadily through 2007 in partnershipwith such agencies as DTI, DOST, Ayala Foundation’s GILAS, Microsoft, Intel, ABSCBN’sKnowledge Channel and USAID.
    • Computer hardware, software and course wares were made available to public secondary and selected elementary schools and community learning centers.
    • As of 2007, a total of 4,712 high schools have access to computer services and 1,149 of them have internet connectivity.

    Addressing Resource Shortages

    Surpassing Targets in New Classrooms

    • The number of barangays and municipalities with no elementary schools or high school -- 445 in 2004 -- was reduced to 267 in 2007.
    • Reason given why there were no schools yet in the remaining barangays and municipalities was unavailability of site.
    • Incomplete primary and elementary schools in 2005 decreased to 4,637 in 2006 (66%)
    • Number of public schools organized increased from 36,710 in 2004 to 37,352 in 2007 or an addition of 642 (17%) more public schools into the system.
    • Construction of new classrooms accelerated to unprecedented pace: 12,490 classrooms in 2004; 9,407 in 2005; 14,887 in 2006; and 14,665 in 2007
    • It was made possible in partnership with other government offices, NGOs and the private sector.
    • These accomplishments surpassed the target of 6,000 classrooms every year.

    More Principals & Teachers Hired

    • Principal items were provided to 3,479 schools from 2006-2007, bringing down the number of schools without principal from 26,282 in 2006 to 22,803 schools this year.
    • For the period 2004-2007, a total of 42,572 teacher items were created as DepEd movestowards achieving the 1:50 teacher-student ratio.
    • 7,574 items in 2004; 6,475 in 2005; 7,237 in 2006 and 16,334 in 2007, the highest number in years.

    Promoting Teacher/ DepEd Personnel Welfare

    • DepEd organized a Panel and Internal Task Force on GSIS Issues and Concerns in 2007 to update service records, among other tasks. To date, 32.77 percent have already been uploaded to the GSIS database.
    • DepEd provided from its 2006 budget P400 million to partially settle unpaid entitlements (loyalty pay, step increments) of DepEd personnel, especially teachers.
    • Arrears in Retirement and Life Insurance Premiums representing government counterpart for the period July 1997 to December 1998 involving some P1.7 billion havebeen settled.
    • DepEd provided P388 million to cover PhilHealth premium adjustment
    • Another P862 million were provided by DepEd to cover Employees Compensation Insurance Premium.
    • Housing Program for Teachers and DepEd employees launched this year in partnership with Gawad Kalinga, PAG-IBIG and pioneering LGUs
    • To be piloted in Murcia, Negros Occidental with initial 200 houses; also in Caloocan City, Iriga City, San Carlos City and Zamboanga City.

     

  • Jan 16 2008

    Teachers come first – DepEd

    As the Department of Education addresses myriad concerns in upgrading the quality of public education system, it remains focused in improving the teachers’ living standard through monetary and non-monetary benefits. In 2007, DepEd settled almost P3.4 billion pesos in unpaid insurance and health premiums of its employees.

     

    “Teachers’ welfare and benefits are our paramount concern,” said Education Secretary Jesli Lapus.

    In its year-end report, DepEd stated that in 2007 it paid some P1.7 billion in arrears representing government shares in GSIS contribution. The arrears were a result of the increase in GSIS premium from 9.5% to 12% for the period of July 1997 to December 1998.

    Another P862 million was released to cover employees’ compensation insurance premium adjustments when the government insurance agency increased the premium from P30 to P100.

    Moreover, a joint DepEd-GSIS task force was organized by DepEd to address various GSIS-related issues and concerns. Members of the DepEd Task Force are senior finance, management, and field officials of the department, and representatives of various teacher organizations including the Alliance of Concerned Teachers and the Teachers Dignity Coalition.

    In a recent meeting with teachers and GSIS presided by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself, the GSIS committed to provide DepEd dedicated servicing desks in its central and field offices. In addition, a GSIS monitoring office in DepEd will also be created. The President also instructed GSIS CEO Winston Garcia to appoint a vice president exclusively for the DepEd account which represents the biggest single contributor to GSIS.

    Meanwhile, P400 million were released last year to partially settle unpaid loyalty pays, step increments and other entitlements of DepEd personnel especially teachers. DepEd field offices are already reconciling records for any other unpaid obligations.

    DepEd has also released P388 million to cover PhilHealth premium adjustments. The government health insurance company increased its premium from P100 to P112.

    “Since last year, we have successfully addressed decade’s old unpaid obligations,” Lapus stressed.

    Just last November 2007, DepEd signed a memorandum of agreement with Gawad Kalinga, Pag-Ibig Fund, and some pioneering local government units to undertake an affordable housing program for its more than 90,000 teachers who do not have a home of their own.

    GK offers low cost housing where the homeowners themselves are involved in the construction of their future homes in a 5 hectare land provided by the partner LGU. One hectare will serve as academic, recreation, and productivity areas while the remaining 4 hectares will be used for the more than 200 lots at 150 sq.m. per lot. A typical house will have a 46 sq. m. floor area with high ceiling and a 26 sq. m. loft. Each house will have finished walls and tiled kitchen and toilet when they are turned over.

    Beyond the construction, GK also implements projects that help enhance community living like livelihood programs and sports activities. A building for pre-school education is also part of the community package of GK for teachers. Recipients will only need to pay a monthly amortization of P1,300 for 25 years through Pag-ibig.

    In a related development, DepEd plans to organize pre-school programs by contracting the services of GK Sibol schools found in the communities the GK will establish. Furthermore, GK Sibol schools shall be integrated into the DepEd programs. They shall also be included as possible partners of the Adopt-ASchool program. Also, the Batang Bayani program of GK will be reviewed for possible integration to DepEd’s Basic Education curriculum.

    DepEd takes up one third of the entire government bureaucracy. Of its 517,515 employees, 471,837 are teachers. Last year, DepEd was given 16,334 new teacher items – more than double the 7,237 items given in 2006.

    Additionally, there are also about 37,000 teachers hired by local government units paid through the LGU’s local funds.

     

     

  • Jan 16 2008

    English proficiency: DepEd’s flagship program in 2008

    Recognizing the importance of English proficiency as an important building block in learning, the Department of Education has placed it as one of its priority programs for 2008 focusing on schools with low mastery level in the 2007 National Achievement Test (NAT).

    NAT measures what the students understand and can do. It covers Mathematics, English, Science, Filipino and Hekasi. To be given priority for urgent interventions are schools which obtained a mean percentage score (MPS) of 34 and below. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo showing great concern that the schools are not producing enough people competent in using the English language, has earmarked P500 Million for teacher-training.

    DepEd is currently implementing more focused school governance with 43,000 school improvement plans (SIP) and 187 division education development plans with well-defined targets on learning outcomes. This is in compliance with the directive of President Arroyo for a 30% improvement in the baseline data in English, Science and Mathematics by 2010.

    Still the 2007 NAT results showed marked improvements in the average (MPS) in English (12.45%) while Mathematics and Science registered 12.3% and 10.3% improvements respectively.

    Jesli Lapus, DepEd Secretary said, “Despite the improving NAT results in English among our students, we believe that we have to push even further to sustain their improving performance. Our bigger goal is to upgrade English instruction among those schools which performed below mastery level.”

    Based on set targets, intervention in students, teachers, and schools are also being prioritized. Student intervention packages include 1:1 new textbook-pupil ratio in English, Beginning Reading, Remedial Reading, Whole School Approach to Reading and Writing. The feasibility of setting up speech laboratories is currently being planned for 2008 implementation.

    DepEd also continues implementing ECARP or Every Child A Reader Program which aims to make children from Grade 1 to 6 able to read as expected at their own level.

    Meanwhile, intervention packages for teachers consist of training of mentors/coaches in teaching, reading and provision of lesson exemplars.

    DepEd records show that as of October 2007, some 137,420 elementary and secondary teachers have received training relevant to English instruction in different modes: live-in workshops and conferences facilitated by English specialists; school-based training with mentoring and coaching; and trainings conducted in coordination with teacher-training institutions.

    DepEd’s National English Proficiency Program (NEPP) which trains English proficient teachers to become mentors to less proficient teachers in their respective schools will continue and be strengthened. To date, 7,300 teachers have received intensive and hands-on training on English proficiency. In turn, these teachers have echoed what they learned to a total of 95,600 teachers in their respective schools under the Teachers Mentoring Teachers program.

    DepEd will assess 13,286 elementary and 1,320 secondary teachers in priority schools which are low-performing to determine English proficiency level and to keep track on school progress in reading.

    Meanwhile, DepEd bestow awards to Outstanding Reading teachers who emerged after a thorough nationwide search. Special awards are given to outstanding reading teachers in the 13 regions.

    Lapus emphasized that English proficiency is critical in learning as other key subjects such as Science and Mathematics use English in textbooks and other reference materials. Pilipino subjects remain in the curriculum and will not be sacrificed either according to Lapus.

    Part of DepEd’s initiative to improve English instruction is to ink partnership with local and international stakeholders. “The private sector has been one with us in our quest for solutions to the many problems we face in public education,” Lapus said.

    DepEd’s Bureau of Elemetary Education is currently developing Lesson Guides in English for Grade 1 to Grade 6 in collaboration with the Ateneo de Manila University. These guides are ready for use by teachers in the coming school year. As well, the Bureau of Secondary Education addresses the training needs of 18,892 English teachers where 16,625 are English majors while 2,267 are nonmajors. These teachers were provided training on mastery reading and writing and current reading pedagogy. The bureau is also preparing video lessons for first year high school for distribution next school year.

    Notably, significant contributions in raising the level of achievement in English in Mindanao area were made with USAID-Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQUALLS), AUSAID Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM).

    “We want more people to get involved. Indeed, it takes a community to create change. It takes all the hands available to regain Filipinos’ edge in the English language,” he added.

     

     

  • Jan 16 2008

    Improved Management System Optimized DepEd Resources

    The Department of Education (DepEd) introduced innovations in management systems in 2007 that aimed at optimizing the use of its resources and helped the department channel its resources to where it mattered most.

    “Complementing our educational reforms, we have introduced a number of governance-related innovations to ensure that DepEd resources are optimized,” Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said.

    In agreement with the Department of Budget and Management and the Civil Service Commission, DepEd pursued the Organizational Performance Indicators Framework that operates using performance indicators with baseline and target data to gauge program success or failure.

    DepEd likewise launched the Basic Education Monitoring and Evaluation System which resulted to better collection of reports, feedback system and management action.

    As a result of these management initiatives and such programs as Enrolment Day, Balik Eskwela and Brigada Eskwela, DepEd reported that enrolment continues to increase at about 2% annually since 2004.

    In 2006, the combined public and private enrolment in basic education aggregated to 19.4 million. For School Year 2006-2007 enrolment was P19.7 million for both elementary and secondary levels where 86% or 16.9 million are in public schools. The figures include 607,085 beneficiaries of service contracting and education vouchers program under Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE), which represents about 50% of private high school enrolment.

    “If the enrolment in preschool education and alternative learning services are included, DepEd’s total clientele will exceed the 20 million mark,” Lapus pointed out. To address absenteeism and arrest the drop-out rate due to poor nutrition, DepEd introduced the Food for School Program whose beneficiaries increased from 676,740 preschool and grade 1 pupils in 2006 to 2.7 million preschoolers and grades 1 to 6 pupils when the program was expanded in 2007.

    In its 2007 State of Basic Education Report, DepEd noted that based on the Weight/Body Mass Index malnutrition incidence among enrolled public elementary students dropped from 20% in 2006 to 17% in 2007. Consequently, school attendance improved from 90% in 2006 to 95% in 2007.

    In addressing resource shortage, DepEd was able to reduce by 60% or to 267 the barangays and municipalities with no elementary or high school from 445 in 2004. Also, the number of public schools organized increased from 36,710 in 2004 to 37, 352 in 2007 or an addition of 642 more public schools into the system.

    In the same year-end report, DepEd said that the perennial classroom shortage has been substantially addressed with unprecedented number of classrooms that were constructed and repaired in 2007. From 14, 887 in 2006, the number rose to 25, 248 in 2007 including 10,583 repaired classrooms.

    These accomplishments which surpassed the target of 6,000 classrooms every year was made possible in partnership with other government offices, NGOs and the private sector.

    Relative to this, some 42,572 teaching position were created from 2004 to 2007 with the most number of teaching items made available in 2007 at 16,334 as DepEd tries to meet the standard of 1 teacher for every 50 students. Principal items were likewise provided to some 3, 479 schools from 2006 to 2007.

     

     

  • Jan 16 2008

    Gov’t infused more funds to improve basic education

    DepEd 2007 Year-End-Report

    Government and private sector spending to improve basic education rose 16 percent from P121.9 billion in 2006 to P141.3 billion in 2007 with more funds channeled to upgrade the teaching-learning process.

    Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said the 2007 funding support to basic education included the 14 percent increase in the national government appropriation and was augmented by unprecedented level of infusion from the private sector and official development assistance.

    DepEd’s share of P137 billion represented 20 percent of the 2007 national budget (net of internal revenue allotment (IRA) and debt service allocation). It comprised of personal services at P110 billion, maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) at P18.6 billion and capital outlay (CO) at P8 billion.

    “The budget distribution is an improvement from prior year’s, implying that more resources were made available this year to directly improve the teaching-learning process as seen from the allocation in MOOE and CO,” Lapus pointed out.

    The sharing between salary (personal services) and non-salary items (MOEE and CO) showed a marked improvement – from 88%:12% in 2004-2005 to 80%:20% in 2007.

    School MOOE has been raised significantly to enable principals and teachers to support teaching-learning activities in the classroom. From a per capita cost of P83 for elementary students in 2004, the amount rose 156% to P329 per child in 2007. Per capita spending for secondary students likewise increased by 81% from P329 in 2004 to P596 in 2007.

    Lapus added that more budget have been directed to support school-based management operations of those offering special programs in science, math, arts, sports, special education and technical-vocational education.

    DepEd’s Adopt-A-School program which allows the private sector to assist public schools and grants a 150% tax incentive has so far generated a record P4.05 billion worth of interventions, donations and pledges.

    “The private sector is obviously a very potent ally in upgrading the quality of education,” Lapus noted. “We just have to show them performance and results,” he added.

    Support to improve education comes in many forms and packages. It includes infrastructure and physical facilities, learning devices and direct assistance to schools, and teacher training and development, among others.

    The two areas which received the bulk of donations in 2007 were technology support for education which received P1.2 billion in assistance and health and nutrition which got P2.3 billion.

    Meanwhile, Official Development Assistance from multilateral and bilateral organizations which is another source of DepEd funding was recorded at P1.08 billion in 2007. Among these organizations that provided funding are Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

     

     

  • Jan 12 2008

    DepEd Advises: Respect the Philippine Flag

    The Department of Education has issued a set of guidelines on the proper use of Philippine flag befitting its role as symbol of the country’s sovereignty and unity.

    “Our flag deserves respect which our students both from public and private schools should bear in mind at such an early age,” said Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus.

    In a memorandum, Lapus said that during flag raising and retreat ceremonies, there should be actual singing of the national anthem and not by canned music. He added that no tattered or badly-faded flag should be allowed to fly in any school or office.

    He also directed the DepEd community to refer to the provisions of RA 8491 on the proper display and use of the Philippine flag, on the singing of the national anthem and the prohibited acts on its use.

    “It’s about time we get reminded of our patriotic duty to renew efforts to respect and pledge allegiance to this icon of a nation that is truly free,” he added. Among the provisions of the RA 8491 is the design of the flag, allowed and prohibited ways of its use, the pledge to the national flag and penalties for violation of any part of the law. Section 12 of the law states that “when the Philippine flag is flown with another flag, the flags, if both are national flags,
    must be flown on separate staffs of the same height and shall be of equal size.”

    It also directs that “the Philippine flag shall be hoisted first and lowered last.” Moreover, people should be conscious about is displaying the flag on a flagpole. The law also states that “if in a hanging position, the blue field shall be to the right (left of the observer). Since the flag is commonly displayed in schools, offices and stages or platforms, the law also dictates that “the flag shall be at the left (facing the stage) or the left of the office upon entering.”

    Prohibited acts involving the Philippine Flag are as follows:

    1. Lowering the flag to salute or compliment any person or object.
    2. To use the flag “as a drapery, festoon, tablecloth, covering for ceilings, walls,statues or other objects, as a pennant in the hood, side, back and top of motorvehicles, a staff or whip, for unveiling monuments or statues; and astrademarks, or for industrial, commercial or agricultural labels or designs.”
    3. Displaying the flag “under any painting or picture, horizontally face-up, belowany platform, or in discotheques, cockpits, night and day clubs, casinos,gambling joints and places of vice or where frivolity prevails.”
    4. Wearing “the flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform.
    5. Adding “any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawings, advertisement, orimprint of any nature on the flag.”
    6. “Print, paint or attach representation of the flag on handkerchiefs, napkins, cushions, and other articles of merchandise.”
    7. Use the flag as “display or be part of any advertisement or infomercial.” and
    8. “To display the flag in front of buildings or offices occupied by” those who are not Filipino citizens.

     

  • Jan 10 2008

    DepEd gears up for 2008 A&E Test

    To give out-of-school youth (OSY) a much-deserved second chance at learning, the Department of Education (DepEd) is set to administer the 2008 Accreditation and Equivalency Test in all of its 188 school divisions nationwide.

    “This is a significant initiative DepEd has implemented to make our system of education more inclusive,” DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus said. “We recognize the need to implement these initiatives that will make our public schools more attuned to the realities of our time,” he added.

    Spearheaded by DepEd’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS), the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test is designed to provide learners with a range of alternatives to allow continuity in learning outside the formal school system. It also determines the examinees’ skills and inclinations.

    Those who successfully pass the A&E Test are given a certificate equivalent to a grade six or fourth year high school diploma in the formal school system. The A&E Test will be administered in four occasions:

    • February 3, 2008 in the Mindanao Region
    • February 10 for the Visayas and Bicol Regions;
    • February 17 in Luzon Cluster I (Regions I, II, III and CAR)
    • February 24 in Luzon Cluster II (Regions IV-A, IV-B and NCR)

    The registration period was held from September 3, 2007 to November 23, 2007. The department has started preparing as far back as August 22, 2007 by holding regional orientations to familiarize examinees on test procedures.

    Meanwhile the division level orientations were conducted and presided over by the schools division superintendents and assistant schools division superintendents. District supervisors, ALS district coordinators and principals were also present during those orientations.

    To supplement this, orientations will be held two days before the testing dates. The first is scheduled on February 1, 2008, to be followed by February 8. Third and fourth orientations will be held on February 15 and 22 for Luzon clusters I and II, respectively.

    Secretary Lapus stressed the need to increase public awareness on the department’s alternative programs for non-formal learning. “Certainly there are many out-of-school youth who will be interested to hear of the department’s ALS programs,” he said.

    DepEd’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System (DepEd-BALS) has been crafting strategies to promote alternative learning. The bureau has been implementing various projects and programs aimed at creating alternative modes of learning. These are specifically designed for learners who were not able to avail themselves of formal schooling, such as the adult illiterates, outof-school youth, and drop-outs. Key programs include Basic Literacy Program for indigenous peoples and the Mobile Teacher Program that taps the
    services of qualified teachers who personally seek the learners in far-flung areas to build Community Learning Centers.

     

     

  • Jan 03 2008

    DepEd pushes for decentralization

    The Department of Education (DepEd) now goes full throttle in its effort to decentralize education management – a strategy that is expected to improve the department’s operating efficiency and upgrade education quality.

    In line with this effort, DepEd is pushing for the implementation of the School-Based Management, a key component of the department’s Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA). BESRA is a widely-accepted reform initiative which recognizes that schools, as the key providers of education, should be able to continuously improve by being empowered to make informed and localized decisions based on their own unique needs.

    SBM gives school heads and their teachers a wide berth to create linkage with the local government and the private sector and be able to tap them for the improvement of the local school.

    “The underlying principle in SBM is that the people directly involved and affected by school operations are the best persons to plan, manage and improve the school,” Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said.

    According to Lapus it is very important to create an environment where all the people involved in the decentralization process not only agree but also commit to make that change happen.

    “Together with correct decentralization policies, we must be able to strengthen all the stakeholders’ capacity to perform their task under a decentralized set-up. DepEd has already wrapped up a series of workshops participated in by key DepEd officials from the regions and the central office where the roles and functions at different levels were fleshed out in detail. The competencies necessary to perform these functions were likewise identified. “These competencies will have to be developed professionally since decentralization is a change management initiative,” Lapus added.

    Lapus also stressed that it is the role of the national, regional and division offices to make sure that all the necessary support structures are in place to aid the local stakeholders in managing their schools.

    DepEd has the biggest manpower complement in the entire government bureaucracy with more than 500, 000 teaching and non-teaching personnel in 2,384 districts, 180 divisions in the country’s 16 regions.

    DepEd’s foreign-assisted projects have paved the way for experimentation and study of different decentralization models. The Third -Elementary Education Project (TEEP) and the Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project (SEDIP) have piloted various initiatives in 23 provinces towards improving DepEd’s readiness for SBM.

    Currently, only public secondary schools enjoy fiscal autonomy. This leaves elementary schools, which constitute the majority of public schools, dependent on mostly centralized management set-up.

    Based on DepEd experience, TEEP has proven that given the correct policies and conditions, elementary schools can effectively implement and benefit from SBM. SEDIP teamed up with the Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO-INNOTECH) to implement the Decentralized Management Development Program (DMDP), a six month program that aims specifically to address the issues hindering the full roll-out of decentralization in DepEd. The DMDP will approach decentralization from a broader perspective, thus rounding out the preparations for a wide-scale SBM roll-out.

    Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Teodoro Sangil said that the inputs gathered from BESRA, TEEP, SEDIP, other FAPs, and most recently, SEAMEO-INNOTECH will propel complete decentralization.

    Sangil enthused,” Successful decentralization and SBM will not only make us more effective, they will produce the best results for the basic education sector in terms of learning and management.”

     

     

  • Dec 29 2007

    DepEd contracts coop of differently abled persons to supply school furniture

    To add to the existing furniture in public schools, the Department of Education (DepEd) renewed its partnership with the National Federation of Cooperatives of Persons with Disability (NFCPWD) for the manufacture and delivery of 120,000 units of armchairs in selected elementary and secondary schools nationwide.

    Since 1999, DepEd, through its Physical Facilities and Schools’ Engineering Division (PFSED), has tapped NFCPWD to utilize the furniture making skills of differently abled workers nationwide.

    NFCPWD is a federation of twelve primary cooperatives in the country – seven in Luzon, two in Visayas, and three in Mindanao. These cooperatives were established to produce various products with school chairs and desks as their main line of business.

    In 2005, NFCPWD manufactured and delivered 48,460 desks and armchairs amounting to P37.84 Million. This further increased to 96,996 units of desks and armchairs worth P99.97 Million in 2006.

    “DepEd is constantly working to augment the furniture in our public schools to meet the ideal ratio,” DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus explained.

    The department’s Desk and Armchair Program covers selected schools in all regions including the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Schools with the least number of desks and armchairs were selected as beneficiaries.

    Beginning in 2005, the General Appropriations Act has allocated 10% of the budget for the Desk and Armchair Program for the procurement of desks and armchairs from cooperatives organized by differently abled persons. Lapus said that “this project will also give our differently abled workers a chance to contribute to the improvement of our school facilities and provide them with a decent livelihood.”

    NFCPWD was certified by the Cooperative Development Authority as the only secondary-level cooperative of Persons with Disability (PWD) engaged in the manufacture of quality school desks and chairs.

     

     

  • Dec 28 2007

    DepEd recognizes outstanding SPED teachers, centers

    In celebration of 100 years of Special Education (SPED) in the country, the Department of Education (DepEd) recognized the outstanding SPED teachers who have made the department’s SPED programs successful.

    Held at Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City, the awarding ceremony was part of a three day conference on SPED themed: “Celebrating 100 Years of Special Education.” The conference sought to review the policies, current approaches, and strategies in Special Education. Best practices were also highlighted in line with SPED’s centennial celebration.

    “In our efforts to provide education for all, DepEd has been implementing various educational programs for those with special needs,” DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus said.

    The national winners for the Visually Impaired Category are Arlene Ranile from Mandaue City Central School SPED Center, Edgar Sagun from Candelaria CS SPED Center in Zambales, and Thelma Guarino from Bagong Silang SPED Center in Caloocan City.

    For the Hearing Impaired Category, Brenda Ebreo of La Union SPED Center, San Fernando City won the first place, followed by Phoebe Santiago of Legazpi City Division SPED Center and Estrella Bautista of San Fernando ES for the third place.

    Meanwhile, Estrela Sartiga of Lipata CS SPED Center, Marife De Guzman from La Union SPED Center, and Maurina Jerusalem from Midsayap Pilot ES SPED Center in Cotabato ruled the Children with Autism Category.

    On the other hand, Edvin Cabrera from Integrated School for Exceptional Children in Iloilo City bagged the first place in the Children with Mental Retardation Category. Virginia Amanon of Midsayap Pilot CS in Cotabato and Rosario Santos of Sta. Ana ES SPED Center in Manila were in second and third place, respectively.

    Lastly, for the Gifted and Talented Children, Nora Amowas of Baguio City SPED Center won the first place, followed by Efremelia Caronan of Tuguegarao East CS in Tuguegarao City and Ma. Fe Teresa Penaflor of Dinalupihan ES in Bataan who won second and third places, respectively.

    The best SPED Centers were also acknowledged. The national winners are La Union SPED Center in San Fernando City for the first place, Zapatera ES SPED Center in Cebu City for the second place, and Paaralang Pag-ibig at Pag-asa from San Pablo City for the third place.

    The department’s programs and projects on SPED are inspired by the 1994 Salamanca Statement on Principles, Policy and Practice in Special Education by UNESCO member-countries which states that “the fundamental principle of inclusive schools is that all children should learn together, wherever possible, regardless of any difficulties or difference they may have.”

    The Special Education Division, which is under the Bureau of Elementary Education, prepares instructional materials specifically designed for children with special needs. It also establishes linkages with agencies concerned with the education and welfare of these children.

     

     

  • Dec 20 2007

    PGMA leads gift-giving to selected public school children

    President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leads the Department of Education (DepEd) officials in distributing packs of groceries, educational toys, school supplies and reading materials to over two million Grade1 to Grade 6 pupils throughout the country during the Christmas season.

    The gift distribution is part of the department’s Tuloy ang Pasko ng Mga Bata program and will be done nationwide today. The chosen recipients include those who belong to the indigenous people, children with disabilities, street and working children, children of poor families in the 5th and 6th class municipalities and children in calamity-affected areas.

    The Schools District Supervisor will be primarily responsible in determining who will be the recipients. The distribution will be done simultaneously in public schools in the locality.

    Although the gift-giving program is partially funded by the DepEd units, canteen funds and PTCA, there will be support from the local government units and other private groups to benefit more students.

    “This is the modest way the DepEd would like to bring the joy of the season to our disadvantaged school children” Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said. Meanwhile, the recipients of the Christmas gifts will also benefit from the medical and dental missions, which will be held in schools located in the 5th and 6th class municipalities nationwide from December 17- 21, 2007.

    In a related development, the DepEd will turn-over some 545 classrooms, some of which can be used as evacuation centers in times of calamity in Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon during the same period. This is expected to benefit about 50,000 teachers and pupils.

    In addition, there is an ongoing fast-tracking of rice distribution to priority provinces which started November 28, 2007 and will continue until January 29, 2008. This will cover all the 9,721 schools in 48 priority provinces including the NCR. Some 2.6 million school children are the beneficiaries of the program.

    “We intensify the call for the support of the private sector for these undertakings. We thank all those who have contributed thus far. They help ensure the welfare of our students,” Lapus said.

     

     

  • Dec 19 2007

    UN cites DepEd on campaign against poverty

    The Department of Education (DepEd) received a commendation from the United Nations for helping set a new Guinness World Record of 43,716,440 for the most number of people ever to mobilize against poverty in a 24-hour period.

    Salil Shetty, director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign and Nileema Noble, UN resident coordinator in the Philippines lauded the Department for participating in the event to end poverty and inequality and living up to the promise of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG), as part of a global movement of likeminded citizens.

    “We are one with the UN in the effort of alleviating poverty, in particular in achieving universal primary education,” Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said. Of the 7.1 million Filipinos who supported the movement, 2.8 million or 39.44 percent was mobilized by the DepEd. The number of Filipinos who stood up for the campaign accounted for 16 percent of the 43.7 million people who participated from 127 countries around the world.

    The Philippines ranked second in Asia and the Pacific in the Guinness World Record in the Stand Up and Speak Out Movement to fight poverty and achieve the MDG set by the UN.

    On behalf of the UN team in the Philippines, Noble expressed appreciation for the tremendous show of support and commitment to the UN October Month celebration which was highlighted by the 2007 Stand Up, Speak Out campaign on October 17. “Filipinos from all walks of life came together to make their voices heard and urged leaders to act and fight poverty to in order to keep their promise of meeting the MDG by 2015,” Noble said in a statement.

    The MDG has eight goals: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.

    These goals form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet
    the needs of the world’s poorest.

    In a recent mid-term MDG progress report, the Philippines noted significant gains in meeting the MDG challenge provided that measures to overcome poverty are sustained. The same report said that in order to address hunger and nutrition, cohort survival rate, maternal mortality and access to reproductive health services there is a need for more resources and an accelerated implementation of interventions both at the national and local levels.

     

     

  • Dec 19 2007

    DepEd slates medical and dental missions for public school children

    The Department of Education (DepEd) holds medical and health missions in the 5th and 6th class municipalities nationwide during the Christmas season that is expected to benefit over two million Grade 1 to Grade 6 pupils.

    From December 17- 21, 2007, selected pupils will receive services from doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals in their school districts. The chosen recipients include children with disabilities, street and working children, children of poor families in the 5th and 6th class municipalities, children in calamityaffected areas and children who belong to the indigenous people.

    The health and dental missions are part of the DepEd’s outreach program nationwide entitled, “Tuloy ang Pasko ng Mga Bata.”

    The project aims to brighten the holiday season of children in the poorest communities of the country. It also seeks to encourage the community to share their resources to children in need.

    “The state of health and nutrition of our students has a direct bearing on their capability to learn” Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said. One major factor that causes increase in drop-out rates, despite growing investments in education, is the poor state of health and nutrition of children, specifically, those at Pre-school and Grade 1-3 levels.

    Lapus added, “We have expanded the Universal Medical and Dental Check-up to examine all pre-schools, Grades 1 to 6 pupils and secondary students, including personnel in public schools.”

    The universal medical and dental check-ups have also been included in DepEd’s Adopt-A-School Program. In this program, members of the Philippine College of Physicians, the Philippine Medical Associations, the Philippine Dental Association and other health professional organizations have pitched in to smoothly carry out the programs.

    Simultaneous to the health and dental missions, DepEd will also distribute packs of groceries, educational toys, school supplies and reading materials. The Schools District Supervisor will be primarily responsible in determining who will be the recipients.

    Although the gift-giving program is partially funded by the DepEd units, canteen funds and PTCA, there will be support from the local government units and other private groups to benefit more students.

     

     

  • Dec 18 2007

    Masbate’s Maximo S. Lazaro Elementary School: From Pit to Peak

    “If a child is always the center of everything the school does, the school head needs to know the child. He has to get to know his family. He has to spend time with them.”

    So says Jerry Arizala, the school principal of Maximo S. Lazaro Elementary School (MSLES) in San Pascual, Masbate. This school’s tale is a turnaround one. Its scores were at the pit when Arizala first took over. Of the 27 schools in the San Pascual District, it took the 27th spot.

    But today, fifteen years later, MSLES has become one of the top 10 schools in the National Elementary Achievement Test in the country and Arizala, is among the ten principals who were recognized as “Most Outstanding School Based-Management (SBM) Implementer,” by the Third Elementary Education Project (TEEP).

    TEEP is the flagship project of the Department of Education (DepEd) to institutionalize SBM in the public school system. This led to school improvement, boosted the confidence and the morale of school heads and teachers, and strengthened the bonds of the schools and communities that support the schools.

    Arizala’s ached as he looked over his school’s dismal performance. He sought to extract the root of the problem. He found that since the teachers were either from Masbate Mainland or Ticao Island, many of them were always late, if not absent in their classes. Worse, most were also lacking dedication and commitment to serve.

    Residents also did not get involved and even considered themselves passive beneficiaries when they receive development efforts. Thus began his and MSLES’ quest towards social change. He realized that he needed to relate with three groups of people: the pupils, the
    teachers, and the community. His ability to harmonize the roles of these schools sub-systems, with the child at the center is the key to the school’s success.

    One with them Principal Arizala started going house to house to visit all his students, if possible. Conversations become intimate over food so he would chat with the family while dining with them over a plate of boiled banana or camote.

    “If the school head feels at home in the houses of his pupils, the pupils are at home too in their schools. This is because in school, they are free to tell stories with the principal and the teachers.”

    To hone the talents of the children, the school clubs were organized. Dramatic Guild, Glee Club, Baseball, and Basketball teams were formed. Unabashed, Arizala would bring his guitar and snare drums and jam with the kids. He would also join them in folk games like luksong tinik, patintero and the like.

    Arizala also finds the time to be with his teachers. A teacher who turned principal, he feels for them. He facilitated their professional development. He invested time in training them particularly the new teachers. They have stayed with them for ten years now. His teachers also joined him for Lakbay-aral to Esteban Abada Elementary School in Quezon City, a model of excellence (MOE) school to shop for possible innovations and instructional materials. In order to bring the best in his teachers, he gives them his full support and respect for their individual teaching styles. He gathered all the instructional materials as well as collecting reviewers from other schools that would benefit MSLES.

    The community took on an active part in school activities as well, from simple activities like preparing food for their Supplemental Feeding Program to complex ones such as helping out in remedial instruction.

    Change is contagious as the community became a close ally of the school in instituting reforms. “At first, my budget was affected because I included my pupils in my meals. But later the parents understood my purpose. The pupils brought with them rice, corn, cassava, banana and camote.”

    He adds,”We relished our meals consisting of fish caught from their “Kitang” (fish net) and sea shells which the pupils gathered from the seashore.” When he had all the stakeholders’ attention and more importantly, cooperation, the school’s revival became evident.
    Best Practices Eventually MSLES became an Elementary Leader School and had the opportunity to implement Tutorial Reading Improvement Project (TRIP) and the Comprehensive Help for Improved Learning Development (CHILD). These ushered not only the improvement of quality of education but also to the holistic development of the child.
    With TRIP, 145 students identified as slow readers, habitual absentees and nonreaders went through various interventions. For a quarter, they participated in reading tutorials every Saturday. Teachers were given financial assistance in the preparation of instructional materials and students were given school supplies.

    Parents also benefited in this project since they were taught livelihood skills. Parents began to imbibe a positive attitude towards education. They started monitoring their children’s performance regularly. They are the ones prodding their children not to miss their classes.

    The school has adapted various strategies in CHILD like Each One Teach One, The One O’ Clock Habit, Educational TV, use of direct learning materials and Lakbay-aral to Esteban Abada Elementary School for the teachers.

    It is vital that the school head rally the stakeholders to his side. All they need to know is that they are agents of change too. The students need to feel that inside the school they are nurtured. Under his leadership the teachers feel empowered. And even the community has come to realize that their support is critical in shaping a school that produces national achievers.

     

     

  • Dec 14 2007

    DepEd Updates Bicol Rehab Report

    The Bicol Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Efforts (BCARE) initiated by the Department of Education has reported a 92 percent actual physical accomplishment in the construction and repair of school buildings damaged by super typhoons Milenyo and Reming in 2006.

    BCARE has identified 2,220 school sites where some 771 new classrooms are up for construction and 7,142 are for repairs. Figures from DepEd’s Region V office showed that as of November 30, 2007 classroom construction and repair are proceeding at a steady pace with Catanduanes, Tabaco City, Naga City and Sorsogon City showing a 100-
    percent completion in the repair and construction of new school buildings.

    In the province of Albay, outside of Tabaco City, project completion rate is at 94%. In Camarines Sur city divisions except for Naga City, DepEd reports accomplishment rate of 89 percent. Camarines Norte’s rehabilitation project is 92 % complete while Masbate posted a 98% completion. Sorsogon, except for Sorsogon City, managed an 87 % accomplishment.

    “Of the 14 congressional districts in Region V, only 4 reported less than 90 % physical accomplishments although we are given assurance that all on-going works should be completed before year-end,” Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said. Under BCARE, DepEd has earmarked some P1.2 billion for the construction of new classrooms and repair of damaged ones in Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon. BCARE is similar to a mini-Marshall plan specifically put up to rehabilitate Bicol
    after suffering the brunt of the succession of super typhoons in 2006.

    “Some schoolbuildings -- designed to withstand earthquake and typhoons – can also be used as evacuation centers in times of calamity,” Lapus added. Aside from a hazard-resistant building constructed in Legazpi City, another 15 all-concrete school buildings are currently under construction in the Bicol region. Lapus said the United Nations Children Emergency Fund funded 12 more similar buildings in Bicol.

     

     

  • Dec 13 2007

    DepEd chief lauds volunteer teacher’s exemplary service to community

    Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus commends Dr. Edwin Ferrer – a mobile teacher under the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS) of the department – for having been chosen as 2007 National Awardee in the Search for Outstanding Volunteers.

    “Our mobile teachers’ contribution to alternative education is, indeed, invaluable,” Lapus said. “They serve as bridges for the department to reach out to all kinds of learners,” he added.

    By hiring Education graduates to become mobile teachers, BALS seeks to make education accessible to out of school youth and adults, especially those who live in remote areas.

    Unlike regular education where students go to school, mobile teachers seek out the learners. Learning sessions – with the aid of learning materials that are user-friendly and indigenous – are held in Community Learning Centers (CLC) which may be a barangay hall, church, factory, reading center, or a house.

    Dr. Ferrer was chosen among 38 entries from both public and private organizations. He has been teaching for eight years as a volunteer, and has been covering eighty six barangays in Pangasinan.

    “Dr. Edwin Ferrer’s achievements attest to the transformative power of education in the lives of even the most downtrodden person,” Lapus explained. “We can see how an entire community has changed through one man’s courageous efforts, and for this, he deserves commendation,” he added. After his teaching career in a private school in San Carlos City, he was hired by DepEd, through BALS, to work as a full time mobile teacher in 2002. At present he serves as regional ALS coordinator and heads the Mobile Teachers’
    Association of Region I.

    In 2003, Secretary Raul Gonzales of DOJ appointed Ferrer as Volunteer Probation Aide of San Carlos City Parole and Probation Office. His teaching experience prompted him to conceptualize the Prisoner Reformation and Improvement through Development Education (PRIDE) for DOJ. He taught prisoners in San Carlos City, where 90% of inmates are illiterate. He also visited the homes of prisoners who received parole and pardon. The plight
    of these illiterate prisoners – who were unjustly convicted because they agreed to sign documents they could not even read – inspired him to go beyond his job as teacher. Aside from teaching, he attended hearings to defend the inmates by proving their illiteracy.

    Unable to satisfy himself by just serving one sector of the community, he moved on to teach literacy to street kids through his Karunungan Para sa mga Batang Lansangan (KBL). He tapped the assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and religious organizations in soliciting books and food for the children.

    From prison to the street, he went to the market to teach illiterate vendors basic reading, writing, and numerical skills during their free time. He also conceptualized the Senior Citizen Operation Program for Education or SCOPE. Its program components include literacy, with the 3 Rs – relax, recreation, and rest. He started with 50 students in 2002 and this has since grown to 225 senior citizen learners.

    Lastly, he created the 5K Program – Karunungan, Kasanayan, Kabuhayan, Kalusugan at Kagandahang Asal – that aims to teach these five components to prostitutes, istambays, members of indigenous groups, and barangay health workers who put people’s health at risk because of their illiteracy.

    DepEd-BALS’ Mobile Teacher Program seeks to improve the quality of life in communities by raising the level of literacy in target areas. Target areas for this program are those with high illiteracy rate, a huge population of out of school youth, and Strong Republic Schools (SRS) where learners are displaced due to insurgency.

    There are 1,381 mobile teachers to date. These mobile teachers are deployed to deprived, depressed, and underserved (DDU) communities all over the country where literacy is most wanting. DDU communities are determined by the mobile teachers themselves who go from house to house to determine the number of non-readers in each household.

    “Our primary goal is to provide education for all, and DepEd is undertaking the necessary steps to actualize this goal,” Director Carolina Guerrero of BALS said. To further intensify DepEd’s efforts to “bring education where the learners are,” Secretary Lapus worked for the increase of the budget for alternative learning from 76 Million Pesos in 2006 to 230 Million Pesos in 2007. This has enabled BALS to hire 300 more mobile teachers.

    Dr. Edwin Ferrer will be awarded on December 12, 2007 at 2 pm at the Palawan Hall of EDSA Shangri-La, Mandaluyong City. Next year, Ferrer will represent the Philippines in the search for International Outstanding Volunteer for Literacy and Community Extension, which will be sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

    The Search for Outstanding Volunteers was launched by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) and the National Volunteer Month-Steering Committee (NVM-SC). The Search Committee comprises officials from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

    Presidential Proclamation No. 55 mandates the celebration of National Volunteer Month in December of every year. To supplement this initiative, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has also ratified Republic Act 9418 on April 10, 2007 – also known as the “Volunteer Act of 2007” – which institutionalized volunteerism as one of the strategies for national development.

     

     

  • Dec 07 2007

    DepEd: "Give scholarship to 20,000 top students"

    Education Secretary Jesli Lapus appeals for scholarship   support for more than 20,000 graduating high school students from low-income families who got ratings of 98 % and above in the recent National Career Assessment Examinations (NCAE).

    "I am calling on all scholarship-giving organizations, both public and private, to take cognizance of these results and help our young achievers fulfill their promise," Lapus said.

    The exam was taken by 1.2 million fourth year high school students or 97% of all those enrolled in both private and public schools.   Some 20,307 examinees who scored 98 percent in general scholastic aptitude (GSA) test are being recommended to CHED for priority scholarship in baccalaureate degree courses.

    Meanwhile, 22,879 students are recommended for scholarship in technical-vocational courses and 27,579 students for entrepreneurial studies based on their scores.   These students belong to families with annual income of P150,000 or less.

    Earlier, CHED and TESDA agreed to give priority scholarship slots to superior but indigent high school graduates based on the NCAE results.

    "The students show a lot of potential and any scholarship support to enable them to pursue their career choices is paramount," Lapus stressed.

    In the latest NCAE results, DepEd noted that there are students who got 98 percent and above in two or more domains. Many students who registered high in the general scholastic aptitude test also got high scores in the technical-vocational aptitude and entrepreneurial skills components of the exam.

    NCAE for SY 2007-2008 was taken by 1,223,465 fourth year high school students from private and public schools nationwide last August 28, 2007. DepEd began the distribution of individual test results this November. Special examinations have also been conducted in November for those who were not able to take NCAE last August.

    The domains of NCAE are general scholastic aptitude, technical-vocational aptitude, entrepreneurial skills, and interest inventory.   The exam is composed of scientific ability, mathematical ability, reading comprehension, verbal ability, manipulative skills, clerical ability, non-verbal ability and entrepreneurial skills.

    NCAE is currently on its second year.   On the third year of implementation in school year 2008-2009 the test results are envisioned to serve as prerequisite for enrolment in any four or five year degrees in colleges and universities as well as two-year vocational or technological courses.   An enabling law is needed to make the test an admission prerequisite.

    DepEd statistics show that out of 100 children who enter Grade 1, only 43 finish high school.   Of this number only 23 pursue college or higher technical education while the others are forced to look for jobs. Of the 23 who manage to get tertiary education, only 14 are able to complete college.

    DepEd is currently implementing an enhanced curriculum in some 261 tech-voc secondary schools nationwide to give students a wider employment or entrepreneurship berth in case they are unable to immediately pursue a 4-year college degree.

    Given the introduction of ladderized education, students will be able to bank on the skills they attain and select technical or engineering courses in college. Some students may also decide to take post-secondary courses given by TESDA.

    Organizations and individuals who wish to give scholarships may contact Dr. Nelia Benito of DepEd's National Educational Testing and Research Center at telephone number 631-6921, 632-1361 to 71 locals 2335, 2134.

     

  • Dec 07 2007

    NCAE results elevate more students to Club 99+

    Twenty-one fourth year high school students nationwide, 13 of whom came from public schools, obtained ratings of 99% plus in all domain areas namely: general scholastic aptitude, technical-vocational aptitude and entrepreneurial skills in the 2007 National Assessment Career Examination (NCAE), enabling them join the Department of Education's elite Club 99+.

    Only five students made it to the Club 99+ in last year's NCAE.

    Members of this year's Club 99+ are mostly products of the public school system. Of the 21 students who made it to the exclusive club, eight came from national high schools, four were from regional science/science high schools and one was a product of a state university laboratory high school. Eight students were from private schools.

    DepEd also noted that the number of examinees with high score in general scholastic aptitude increased from 49,066 in 2006 to 77,869 this year or an increase of 59 percent.

    "The results showed that we are making some headway in our effort to improve education especially in our public school system," Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said.

    "The NCAE was developed to assess the aptitudes of fourth year high school students and guide them in choosing an appropriate career path after graduation. "Unlike the National College Entrance Examination that was discontinued in 1994, the NCAE is used entirely for recommendation purposes in career guidance," Lapus said.

    Lapus stressed that the conduct of NCAE last August 2007 and the distribution of the individual results last November 2007 will give students and their parents time to choose career options vis-à-vis aptitudes or inclinations.

    DepEd is currently implementing enhanced curriculum in some 261 technical-vocational secondary schools out of 5,078 public secondary schools nationwide to give students in these tech-voc schools skills trainings and a resulting wider array of life choices. Given the introduction of ladderized education, students may build on their skills acquired in these tech-voc schools and choose technical or engineering courses in college while some may decide to take post-secondary courses given by TESDA.

    The 18 areas of specialization for SY 2007-2008 for tech-voc schools include: Automotive Servicing, Consumer Electronics, Household Electricity, Machining, Welding, Plumbing, Building Construction, Furniture and Cabinet Making, PC Hardware Servicing, PC Operations, and Technical Drawing-CADD for Arts and Trade; Crop Production, Animal Production and Food Processing Production for Agriculture; and Fish Capture, Fish Culture and Fish Processing for Fishery. These are existing specializations offered by tech-voc schools aligned with TESDA Training Regulations.

    DepEd also promotes tech-voc education to address the growing employment mismatch arising from the inability of the new graduates to meet the skill requirements of the employers.

    Lapus said, "We need to change the mindset that students who choose to study in tech-voc are less endowed intellectually." Many capable students who excel in both academic and tech-voc are unable to pursue 4-year courses because of lack of financial resources. Empowered with technical skills, students can get themselves employed and have the means to sustain a college education.

    A major part of the NCAE consists of general scholastic aptitude test but it tests as well three additional domains, namely technical-vocational aptitude, entrepreneurial skills and interest inventory. The exam is composed of scientific ability, mathematical ability, reading comprehension, verbal ability, manipulative skills, clerical ability, non-verbal ability, and entrepreneurial skills.

    Students from public schools who became part of Club 99+ are the following: Karl Jeffrey E. Murillo of Regional Science HS, La Union; Ralph Francis A. Birung of Regional Science HS, Isabela; Mark Joseph A. Tiongson of Sta. Monica HS, Bulacan; Meawyn A. Millan of Negros Occidental HS, Negros Occidental; William Robert H. Yasi of Cebu City National HS, Cebu City; Mary Lorainne B. Fernandez, Kapangan Central National HS, Benguet; Lea Angelica R. Alhambra,   Baguio City National HS – Main, Baguio City; Armin N. Tajanlangit of Quezon City Science HS, Quezon City; John Lorenzo T. Bautista of Mandaluyong Science HS, Mandaluyong City; Lara Alessandra C. Aragones of Rizal High School, Pasig City; Jewel Len B. Sabaupan of Camarines Sur NHS-ESEP, Naga City; Caryl A. Gerarcas of Calbayog City HS, Calbayog City; and Francino P. Delima of Cebu Normal University, Cebu City, which is a state university.

    Meanwhile, the students from private schools who made it to Club 99+ are: Lee Robert F. Legaspi, San Lorenzo Ruiz Academy, South Cotobato; Sharla Raye Y. Billena, Gen. Santos Hope Christian School, Gen. Santos City; Katrina B. Villanueva, La Immaculada Concepcion School, Pasig City; Marie Therese A. Floro, St. Paul College, Pasig; Axel Philip C. Advento, Montessori De Sto. Nino, Meycauayan, Bulacan; Luis Anthony A. Mariano, Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, Quezon; Rose Ann G. Magnaye, Casa Del Bambino Emmanuel Montessori, Batangas City; and Efren John O. Misagal, Holy Cross College of Carigara, Leyte.

    NCAE for SY 2007-2008 was taken by 1,223,465 fourth year high school students from private and public schools nationwide last August 28, 2007. Special examinations have also been conducted in November for those who were not able to take the NCAE last August.

    NCAE is currently on its second year. On the third year of implementation in 2009 the test results are envisioned to serve as prerequisite for enrolment in any four or five year degrees in college and universities as well as two-year vocational or technological courses. An enabling law is needed to make the test an admission prerequisite.

     

     

  • Dec 07 2007

    DepEd supports Quiz Bee Foundation’s 28th National Quiz Bee

    Public and private school students gather for the two-part National Grand Finals of the 28th National Quiz Bee organized by the Quiz Bee Foundation. After a year-long elimination activity, the competition will culminate on December 30, 2007 (Part I) and January 6, 2007 (Part II).

    “This is a perfect venue where our students can engage in healthy competition and productive interaction,” DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus said. “This is also an excellent way for our students to imbibe discipline and sportsmanship,” he added.

    A presidential trophy, gold medal, P100,000 worth of insurance, P70,000 worth of educational plan, 32 volume encyclopedia set, a multimedia computer system, mobile phone, and gift packages will be awarded to the winner of the National Grand Finals.
    Categories include: Elementary Makabayan (Philippine History, Culture, and Values), Elementary Mathematics, Science and Technology for high school contestants, and General Information and International Affairs for college students.

    “The department is grateful for such initiatives which provide venues to showcase the talents of our students,” Lapus stressed. “This also proves that our students in public schools are very capable of competing with their private school counterparts in spite of resource shortages in public schools,” he added.

    The competition is part of the four-day Summit of the Super Quiz Bee. The 136 regional champions and teacher coaches from 17 regions will be congregate in a live-in camp with tours, seminars, and fellowships.

    A young couple – Rasty and Gay Tayag – launched the Quiz Bee as far back as 1977. It developed from a small-scale tournament into a forum for outstanding Filipino schoolchildren. Private sector groups have been financing this yearly endeavor since.

    Any enrolled student from the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Levels can join the quiz bee. At the Primary level, pupils 10 to 13 years old are qualified to join. Students from 14 to 17 years old are qualified in the Secondary level, and college students aged 18 to 22 years can join the Tertiary level.

    Among the major sponsors of this year’s Quiz Bee are Ovaltine, Cecon, Philam Plans, Time Life Books, JRS Express, Globe, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Goodwill Bookstore, and Intel. Aside from DepEd, government agencies such as the Office of the President, Commission on Higher Education, the Department of Interior and Local Government have been lending support to the National Quiz Bee.
     

     

  • Nov 29 2007

    DepEd lauds public school whiz kid of Jakarta math, science olympiad

    A grade six pupil from Pagadian City Pilot School won in the Science Division of the 4th International Math and Science Olympiad (IMSO) held in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus commends Angelique Joy Virata, or April, for winning a bronze medal in the Science division of the competition against pupils from other countries.

    She competed against students from the host country, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, China (Taiwan), Malaysia, Brunei, and Sri Lanka.

    April also won a merit award in the International Math Competition (IMC) held in Singapore last August 16 to 21, 2007.  Her most recent achievement is being among the top finalists in the National Quiz Bee held in Tagaytay City earlier this month.

    “April made us proud,” Lapus said. “She proves, not once but twice, that our students can be at par with the best of Asia,” he added.

    Known as a gifted student, April has represented her school in numerous contests since third grade.  Out of 297 students in her batch, she is also a potential valedictorian and plans to study in Philippine Science High School for her secondary education.

    “This significant achievement further inspires us in the department to work harder to improve the performance of our students,” Lapus stressed.

    The Zamboanga-based Mathematics Trainers Guild, Philippines and some DepEd officials supported the Philippine delegation.

    IMSO is an international Mathematics and Science competition for elementary pupils. It was held in Hotel Nikko, Jakarta, Indonesia last November 12 to 17, 2007.

    “She attests to what perseverance can achieve, and we at the department are working hard to ensure that doors are opened to these children who carry so much potential,” Lapus said.

     

     

  • Nov 29 2007

    DepEd to turn-over new classrooms cum evacuation centers in Bicol

    The Department of Education is set to turn-over school buildings in the Bicol region including some intended to double as evacuation centers in times of calamity, even as reports of damages to schoolbuildings caused by typhoon in a in the Cordillera and Region 2 have hit the P200 million mark.

    Funded under DepEd’s Bicol Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Efforts (BCARE) in the aftermath of super typhoons Milenyo and Reming, a total of 545 new classrooms are expected to benefit some 50,000 students and teachers. Moreover, a total of 6,039 classrooms have already been repaired and are ready for use.

    Under the BCARE, DepEd has allotted some P1.2 billion for the construction of new classrooms and repair of damaged ones in Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

    In a recent report to the Cabinet, Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said the department is right on track on its target at 98% completion rate. “BCARE is solely dedicated for the rehabilitation of the Bicol region and we made sure that we have new buildings which can also be used for evacuation especially in typhoon-prone areas like Bicol,” Lapus said.

    Meanwhile, Secretary Lapus ordered the immediate field assessment of damaged school buildings and lost textbooks in Northern Luzon that suffered the onslaught of Typhoon Mina. DepEd reported that based on initial reports, the Cordillera Administrative Region sustained some P102 million damages on school buildings followed by Region 2 which reported damages of P101.4 million. “We will request for similar CARE funding for them so that repairs can be undertaken immediately,” he said.

    In the Bicol Region, typhoon Mina caused the evacuation of some 10,944 families or 51, 674 individuals, using as temporary evacuation centers school buildings in the area.

    In Legazpi City, DepEd has completed the construction of an all- concrete building which was designed to withstand earthquake and typhoon. The classroom cum evacuation center has comfort rooms, water supply and kitchen. Its ceiling is reinforced with 20-millimeter steel bars.

    “The sturdy school building are elevated from the ground by a meter and can accommodate two classes during regular days and at least 60 people when used as evacuation center,” Lapus added.

    Some 15 more new hazard-resistant building are currently under construction in the Bicol region. Lapus reported that the United Nations Children’s Fund will fund 12 more of these hazard-resistant buildings in Bicol.

    In the province of Albay, Ligao City has the biggest number of new classrooms at 301, followed by 71 in Tabaco City and 56 in Legazpi City. In Camarines Sur, Iriga City has 64 new classrooms while Naga City has 71. Hit hard by the succession of typhoons last year, Sorsogon will have 89 new classrooms after the turn-over in December.

    Of the 6,039 repaired buildings, 2,579 are in Albay, 1,620 in Camarines Sur, 204 in Camarines Norte, 358 in Masbate and 936 in Sorsogon and 342 in Catanduanes.

     

     

  • Nov 29 2007

    DepEd, GK build homes for teachers

    The Department of Education (DepEd) partners with Gawad Kalinga (GK), Pagibig Fund and Local Government Units (LGU) in laying the groundwork for an affordable housing program for public school teachers.

    Pioneering local government unit partners in the program are Mayors Sony Coscolluella of Murcia and Jose Lacson of San Carlos City in Negros Occidental who have provided sites for this project which will enable public school teachers and DepEd employees to acquire houses of their own.

    Mayors Recom Echiverri of Caloocan City and Celso Lobregat of Zamboanga City have also committed to support the project. Iriga City is another site for the pilot implementation of the project.

    Aside from public school teachers, rank and file personnel of the Department of Education are also expected to benefit from this project. “It is an irony that teachers who perform a noble role in our society are still included among those who do not own their own homes,” Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said.

    In 1999, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Innovation in Technology and Education (SEAMEO-INNOTECH) came out with a survey showing 22% of the more than 400,000 teachers at that time do not have their own house. This translates to more than 90,000 teachers who either rent a place or stay with relatives.

    Under the partnership, LGUs will apply for a loan from Pag-ibig Fund’s Special Loan Facility and use its internal revenue allotment (IRA) as collateral. The LGUs will also identify and commit at least 5 hectares of land for the community site. Construction in Murcia and San Carlos City is set to start early next year.

    For its part, Pag-ibig Fund, through its executive director, Mr. Luis Oquinena, allotted P20 million for each of these sites.

    One hectare of the 5 hectare land will serve as academic, recreation and productivity areas. Under GKs SIBOL or “to grow” program, it will build a preschool to be run by DepEd to cater to the children of the beneficiaries. Partner organizations will build a multipurpose hall and playgrounds or basketball courts for the sports and creative component of SIBOL.

    To be built on a 150 square meter lot, a typical house will have 46 sqm floor area with high ceiling and a 26 sq m loft. House to be turned over will have finished walls, and tiled kitchen and toilet. Roads and drainage will be part of the construction with the support of the LGU who will also maintain them.

    Future home owners are expected to take active roles in the construction of their houses as well as that of their neighbors. Designs for the houses will be provided by DepEd. A monthly amortization of only P1,300.00 per month for 25 years will be paid by the recipients of the houses through the Automated Salary Deduction System of DepEd.

    “Our teachers are assured of the most affordable cost and payment terms under the program,” Secretary Lapus said.

    Priority will be given to married personnel occupying permanent DepEd items, had rendered at least 10 years of service, and not more than 50 years old. Employees who are already owners or co-owners of residential units or have previously availed of housing loans from GSIS or Pag-ibig as principal or coborrower are not qualified to benefit from the project.

    Qualified recipient are required to be committed members of the GK Kapitbahayan where they will be asked to invest “sweat equity” under the TATAG community development program.

    Considering the big number of homes required for qualified DepEd personnel, the department has also tapped Habitat for Humanity which is also famous for its similar housing technology, viable partnership formulas and affordable schemes.

     

     

  • Nov 28 2007

    DepEd’s Adopt-A-School Program honors stakeholders

    Today, the Department of Education’s Adopt-A-School Program honors its partners who have contributed in improving the state of Philippine Education through its annual Stakeholders’ Night at the Diosdado Macapagal Hall, Landbank Plaza.

    In his message, Sec Lapus thanked all those who have contributed to improve the public schools, “The partnerships that we have formed through the years are indeed valuable to us in the Department. You have provided our public schools more than resources. Your interventions have indeed made a difference in the learning outcomes of our pupils”

    Problems in infrastructure, increasing drop-out rates, poor health and nutrition, poverty and the decreasing over-all quality of education in the country has compelled the private sector to invest in education. For this reason, the Adopt-A-School Program of DepEd was created. RA 8525: The Adopt-ASchool Act of 1998, allows private entities to assist all public schools in the country and in return, can avail of 150% tax incentives, promote goodwill in its community and strengthen its corporate image.

    From 2000 to 2006, the Adopt-A-School program has generated 2.1 billion pesos worth of support from the private sector. Last September 2006, ASP was re-launched by Education Secretary Jesli Lapus and to date, it has generated about 4.5 Billion pesos worth of interventions, donations and pledges.

    Support for education came in various forms and packages. For infrastructure and physical facilities, over 100 Million pesos worth was received. 100 million pesos was received for all learning support and direct assistance to the schools. For teacher training and development 90 Million, 700 million for donor-driven and combined packages. The two largest area where most donations were poured in were Technology Support to Education and Health and Nutrition with 1.2 Billion and 2.3 Billion respectively.

    As the night came to a conclusion, the Adopt-A-School Program’s new campaign was launched. Supported by Ms. Yeng Constantino with her hit song, Hawak Kamay, the Adopt-A-School’s new campaignseeks to encourage strengthened support from all stakeholders in education through various needsbased and sustainable interventions – harnessing technology, providing electric and water facilities to schools, enhancing health and nutrition and teacher development programs and supporting relevant education - that will eventually improve the schools, increase learning outcomes of the pupils and therefore, improve the quality of life of the generations to come.

     

     

  • Nov 28 2007

    Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between DepEd and Gawad Kalinga

    MEDIA ADVISORY

     

    WHAT : Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between DepEd and Gawad Kalinga on Housing Program for Teachers/ Personnel and Accreditation of Gawad Kalinga Preschools
    WHEN : November 28, 2007
    TIME : 9:30 AM
    WHERE : Bulwagan ng Karunungan G/F Rizal Building 1, DepEd Complex, Pasig Cty
    SPEAKERS

    Secretary Jesli Lapus
    Undersecretary  for Finance and Administration Teodosio Sangil
    Assistant Secretary for Programs and Projects Teresita Inciong
    Chairman Jonathan Malaya, Task Force on Teachers and Personnel Housing
    CEO Federico Romero Quimbo, PAG-IBIG Fund
    Executive Director Jose Luis Oquinena, Gawad Kalinga
    Head of Operations Jose Mari Oquinena, Gawad Kalinga
    Mr. Antonio Meloto, Gawad Kalinga Worker
    Vice President Florentino Espana, PAG-IBIG Fund
    Mayor Esteban Conscolluela, Negros Occidental Schools
    Division Superintendent Eva Belisina, Negros Occidental
    Schools Division Superintendent Gemma Ledesma, Sn Carlos City

     

    The Department of Education partners with Gawad Kalinga, Pag-ibig Fund and Local Government Units in  laying the groundwork for the public school teachers to finally acquire a house they can call their own.

     

     

  • Nov 15 2007

    DepEd strengthens ARMM / Mindanao interventions

    The Department of Education is intensifying efforts to improve access to quality education and open livelihood opportunities for children and out-of-school youth in Mindanao particularly in the ARMM provinces in partnership with foreign governments and the private sector.

    With support from the USAID’s Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQUALLS), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and other foreign and local agencies, DepEd is steadily mobilizing support for education and livelihood programs in Mindanao.

    Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus, together with USAID Philippines Director Jon Lindborg recently visited Mindanao schools to see first hand the impact of the education interventions in Mindanao in partnership with USAID EQUALLS.

    Lapus and Lindborg engaged students, teachers and administrators in discussions on strengthening peace in their communities through use of an EQUALLS –provided 10-part video production series on peace entitled Salam. “There is an urgent need for a stronger public-private sector alliance to meet the education needs of Mindanao especially in the ARMM. A framework to pool various initiatives into one program assures efficiency and effectiveness,” Lapus said.

    The EQUALLS-supported alternative basic education and livelihood skills programs provided youths who have dropped out of school with an opportunity to re-enter the formal education system or receive livelihood training and work experience. EQUALLS support program for out-of-school children and youth (OSCY) is the largest in the country with a target of 100,000 OSCY.

    In partnership with DepEd and DepEd ARMM, EQUALLS has helped improve the quality of education of some 480,000 public elementary students in Mindanao, trained nearly 10,000 educators in teaching of English, Science and Math and provided almost 2 million books in Mindanao schools.

    Part of the program includes the improvement of training for teachers, development of training materials and in mobilizing school level support by providing managerial and leadership training to school principals.

    Another intervention program adopted was the Text to Teach (T2T) project of the Ayala Foundation and Nokia which aimed to improve the teaching of English, Mathematics and Science among Grades 5 and 6 pupils in 13 selected public schools and one private school in Cotabato City.

    As proof of improving student performance, the division of Cotabato City topped the examination given by the T2T program for three school divisions. Cotabato City was also ranked 3rd in the recent Regional Achievement Test both in elementary and secondary.

     

     

  • Nov 15 2007

    DepEd Focus on Schools with Low Mastery Scores

    The Department of Education has ranged a host of intervention programs to upgrade English instruction in elementary and high school with special focus on schools which registered in the low mastery level in the 2007 National Achievement Test.

    President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has instructed DepEd to zero in on schools which tested low in mastery in the 2007 NAT. A student is considered in the low mastery level if the mean percentage score (MPS) is between 15 to 34 in the 100-item test per subject.

    Earlier during the DepEd presentation in Malacanang before the members of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus outlined its programs that were designed to upgrade English instruction. This include the training of teachers to teach English which as of October 2007 totals 137,420 teachers nationwide.

    The NAT, which measures what the students in Grade 3 and second year high school know, understand and can do, covers Mathematics, English, Science, Filipino and HEKASI.

    The 2006 results for elementary students showed an MPS in English of 60.78 percent, a big jump from the 54.05 in 2005 -2006. For high school students, 2006 NAT results recorded an MPS of 51.81 percent, up from 51.20 percent in 2005 - 2006.

    The NAT result in English for Grade 3 students was an MPS of 59.56 percent, a 10 percent improvement over 49.98 percent in previous year. “Despite the improving NAT results in English among our elementary students, we believe that we have to make an extra push to sustain their improving performance,“ Lapus said. “Our bigger goal is to upgrade English instruction among those schools which performed below mastery level,” he added.

    Some 265 high schools which performed badly or those whose MPS ranged between 15-34 are the focus of intervention with the hope of achieving average mastery to moving towards mastery by 2008.

    In the elementary division, DepEd is eyeing to upgrade the performance of 1,899 schools which are also at low mastery levels and achieve average mastery in the 2008 NAT.

    Lapus stressed that English proficiency is critical in learning as other key subjects such as Science and Mathematics use English in explaining concepts. Deped implements a more focused school governance with 43,000 school improvement plans (SIP) and 187 division education development plans with well-defined targets on learning outcomes. This is in compliance with the directive of President Arroyo for a 30% improvement in baseline data in English, Science and Mathematics by 2010.

    Meanwhile, DepEd continues implementing ECARP or Every Child a Reader Program which aims to make children from Grades 1 to 6 able to read as expected at their own level. DepEd has likewise directed schools to beef up school libraries and implement different reading strategies to instill love for reading at an early age.

    DepEd will also continue to hold the national Read-a-Thon contest which gives cash prize to students who emerged Best in Story Telling, Best in Oral Interpretation, Best in Vocabulary, Best Team Readers and Best School in Reading. Likewise, DepEd gives awards to Outstanding Reading Teachers who emerged after a thorough nationwide search. Special awards were also given to outstanding reading teachers in the 13 regions.

    Moreover, master teachers and department heads demonstrate effective English teaching methods to other teachers thereby upgrading the teaching capabilities of participants.

    DepEd records show that as of October 2007, some 137,420 elementary and secondary teachers have received training relevant to English instruction in different modes: live-in workshops and conferences facilitated by English specialists; school-based training with mentoring and coaching; and trainings conducted in coordination with teacher-training institutions.

    DepEd’s Bureau of Elementary Education is currently developing Lesson Guides in English for Grade I to Grade 6 in collaboration with the Ateneo de Manila University which is ready for use by teachers in the coming schoolyear. Relative to this, the Bureau of Secondary Education addresses the training eeds of 18, 892 English teachers where 16,625 are English majors while 2, 267 are non-majors. These teachers were provided training on mastery reading and writing and current reading pedagogy. The bureau is also preparing video lessons for first year high school for distribution next school year.

    The DepEd’s National English Proficiency Program (NEPP) resulted to the intensive and hands-on training of some 7,300 teachers on English proficiency. In turn, the teachers echoed what they learned to a total of 95,600 teachers in their schools under the Teachers Mentoring Teachers program.

    Part of DepEd’s initiative to improve English instruction is to ink partnership with local and international stakeholders. Very significant contributions in raising the level of achievement in English in Mindanao area were made with USAID-Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQUALLS).

    AUSAID Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM). Various private sector interventions under DepEd’s Adopt-a-School Program have yielded positive outcomes.

    ABS-CBN’s Knowledge Channel has helped post an 8% increase in the achievement level of student- beneficiaries while Text2teach with the Ayala Foundation and Nokia resulted in a 5% increase in the achievement level in English and Science of school beneficiaries.

    Other similar initiatives include the establishment of Library Hubs which are already in place in 35 divisions. The local government units provide the building to house the books while DepEd purchases the reading materials and furniture. Private businesses also do their share such as the Bright Minds Read program of the Ronald McDonald House of Charity being implemented in 977 schools and benefited 9,360 Grade 1 pupils. The Summer Institute of Linguistics also chip in through its Reading Books for Indigenous Pupils which is now available in 7 divisions.

     

     

  • Nov 15 2007

    Lapus orders immediate reconstruction of burned down schoolbuilding in Nueva Ecija

    Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus takes a direct hand in replacing the burned down 6- classroom school building of Tanauan Elementary School in Nueva Ecija   by ordering the immediate release of funds and directing the completion of project by March 2008.

    The schoolbuilding was gutted by fire during the October 29 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. According to DepEd's engineering office, the fire of unknown origin has completely destroyed the building. DepEd has urged the Philippine National Police to look into the matter and bring to court those who will be found liable.

    Meanwhile, Lapus announced the completion of a new schoolbuilding in Taysan, Batangas which will replace the burned down Pinagbayanan Elementary School in an election-related case of arson during the May 2007 national elections.

    "The six-classroom building with a library and a principal's office will be named Nellie Banaag Elementary School in honor of our teacher who died in the line of duty," Lapus said.

    The Department of Education (DepEd) continues to pump in more funds to improve basic education with allocations running to over P 24 billion spread from 2006 to 2008.

    "Of the P24.2 billion DepEd resource expenditure programmed in the years mentioned, classroom construction and repairs received the biggest chunk with P14.2 billion," said Education Undersecretary Ramon Bacani.

    Of this amount, P3 billion were disbursed in 2006 which went to construct more than 6,000 classrooms. The amount was increased to P5.4 billion this year for the construction of 6,132 classrooms and the repair of some 12,400 classrooms. DepEd earmarks P5.8 billion for 2008 for additional 10,472 classrooms.

    The school system saw the construction of a total of 14,887 classrooms in 2006 with the help of the private sector and other government institutions under various school building programs. 

    These programs include the Regular School Building Program of DepEd and the Department of Public Works and Highways; Priority Development Assistance Fund of Legislators, Local Government Unit projects, Foreign –assisted School Building Programs; Classrooms Galing sa Mamamayang Pilipino Abroad; Department of Trade & Industry- National Development Corporation Lending Program for Local Government Units, Adopt-a-School Program and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. School Building Program.

    Aside from Government Appropriations Act funds, DepEd has successfully sourced funds from loans and grants from bilateral, multilateral donor agencies as well as foreign governments which go directly to infrastructure development, schoolbuildings, teacher training and textbook acquisition.

    These include Australian Agency for International Development worth P204 million for DepEd automation and information system as well as another P34 million for teachers' training. This year, the Australian support for the Philippine basic education sector hit an unprecedented level of more than A$170 million grant for 2007 until 2011.

    On the other hand, the Government of Spain made available P247.8 million for the construction and repair of   classrooms and training of teachers   even as UNICEF provided some P7 million for hazard-resistant classrooms. For its part the Netherlands government through UNICEF has allocated about P55.8 million for the construction of schoolbuildings and repair of classrooms.

    In 2006, DepEd completed the Third Elementary Education Project worth P11 billion most of which went to classroom construction. Currently, DepEd is implementing the Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project worth P6.8 billion funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation which likewise went to construct classrooms, teachers training, textbook acquisition, among others covering the country's 19 poorest provinces.

     

     

  • Nov 09 2007

    DepEd says COMELEC has released teachers' allowances for poll duties

    The Department of Education (DepEd) announced that the P1,000 allowance of public school teachers who served as election tellers during the 2007 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections have already been released by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to the municipal treasurers concerned.

    DepEd has mobilized some 400,000 teachers during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan held last October 29, 2007.

    Teachers who manned the SK precincts are entitled to an additional P500. All teaches who manned the polls will also receive another P500 as transportation allowance to be released this week. The allowance of P1,000 per teacher and payment for manning the SK polls have already been released to the teachers through the municipal treasurers from Regions 1 to 8.   Those in regions 9 to 12, CARAGA, and ARMM will receive their allowances this week.

    DepEd has been constantly coordinating with COMELEC and the municipal treasurers to facilitate the payment for teachers who performed poll duties. The municipal treasurers who are under the supervision of the Department of Finance are responsible for the release of the COMELEC-mandated allowances.

    Deputized as members of the Board of Election Tellers (BET), the school teachers are exposed to high risks as they are involved in the whole election process – from the registration of voters to the actual counting of votes. DepEd election duty is supervised by the Commission on Elections and secured by the Philippine National Police.

    DepEd wants all payments for election-related duty expedited as soon as possible. "However, it will take some time to get the complete information since we have 42,000 schools throughout the country with about 250,000 election precincts," explained DepEd election task force co-chair and Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Franklin Sunga.

     

     

  • Nov 08 2007

    Teachers facing election charges assured legal assistance

    The Department of Education (DepEd) said today the department has always been ready to provide legal assistance to the 13 school teachers in Navotas City against whom criminal and administrative charges were filed resulting from the performance of their duties during the May 2007 elections.

    Lawyer Franklin Sunga, DepEd Undersecretary for Legal Affairs, said:  "We are always ready and willing to give the needed legal assistance."

    DepEd has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines wherein the IBP can handle cases for our teachers.  "Our DepEd legal consultants can also appear in court in behalf of our school teachers," Sunga added.

    The DepEd gave the assurance in the face of accusations filed by a former solon from Navotas who alleged that the school teachers participated in widespread cheating during the May 14 elections. The teachers were also accused of allowing residents to vote twice and that the solon's poll watchers were not allowed to get inside the polling precincts.

    "Based on the charges, we will ask our regional director concerned to make recommendation. We will also determine the veracity of the accusations for us to make the proper action," Sunga explained.

    "So far, we have not received any request for legal assistance from the accused teachers although we have already asked the regional head concerned to look into the matter," Sunga stressed.

     

     

  • Nov 02 2007

    DepEd lauds public high school whiz kids' winning inventions

    "These geniuses have truly made us proud," Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus said as he commends elementary and high school students whose inventions are now on exhibit at the Innovation Area of the Intellectual Property Rights Office.

    "They have shown that talent and hard work can only result in success. More that admiration, they deserve recognition for the efforts they have put into their craft," Lapus added.

    The Robotics Team of Tibagan Elementary School in Makati City comprises Joshua Cortel, Rogen Amen, Albert Ruelan, Joseph Pascua, Paolo Villaflor, John Jeff Bores, and Julius Cesar Kalahati. Cortel and Amen conceptualized two robots - Robo Rally and Robo Sumo. The former is truck-like vehicle that can hurdle obstacle courses and the latter was designed to resemble a sumo wrestler.

    These grade five students, together with their team mates, started the project just last month. These are among the several entries submitted by public high school students during the Robo Fiesta last August, sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The contest was open to students from both public and private schools. 

    Three other students from Fort Bonifacio High School in Taguig City – Aljun Monje, Ryan Christian Quintos, and Kenneth Detablan – created the archer robot Jumong-bot, named after a Koreanovela protagonist.

    "This is proof that the performance of our public school students can be at par with those from private schools," Lapus asserted. "To boost students' skills in science and technology, the department even proposed to congress an additional allocation of P500,000 for every science high school," Lapus added.

     

     

  • Nov 01 2007

    DepEd further strengthens Special Education

    In line with the year-long celebration of the centennial of Special Education (SPED) in the Philippines, the Department of Education (DepEd) has started implementing new programs to strengthen teachers’ capabilities to better respond to children with special needs.

    Aside from the ongoing training given to teachers of children with hearing impairment, visual impairment and mental retardation, DepEd will provide additional enrichment courses to educators handling children with learning and multiple disabilities.

    “Different techniques and a unique approach are required in the teaching of children who experience learning difficulties and have special needs,” Secretary Jesli Lapus pointed out. “It is imperative that our educators continue to develop the abilities required in their profession and are updated in new developments in special education.”

    As part of the enrichment program, participating teachers initially take 18 units of specialized courses that may lead to a graduate degree. The courses are taken over a period of two summers from partner universities which are Philippine Normal University in Luzon, Cebu Normal University in the Visayas and Holy Cross College of Davao in
    Mindanao.

    In addition, early intervention in childhood education is now being implemented. Most notable of these current initiatives is the launch of the Filipino Adaptation of the Portage Guide to Early Education.

    Adapted to the Filipino culture, the guide contains card files and checklists. The checklists help parents determine whether the current learning skills of the child are ahead, on track or delayed. Depending on the findings, card files are also provided with activities and strategies to supplement or enhance the children’s acquisition of functional daily skills.

    Moreover, principals, educators and parents participated in workshops on the manual’s usage in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Copies of the manual-- in both English and Filipino translations -- were also distributed to the different regions.

     

     

  • Nov 01 2007

    DepEd: election honoraria for teachers underway

    The Department of Education (DepEd) clarifies reports on the delay in the delivery of poll duty pay to teachers. Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and co-chair of the DepEd Election Task Force Franklin Sunga reiterated that DepEd has been coordinating with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to fast track payment of teachers.

    According to the undersecretary, the allocation for teachers’ honoraria and additional allowances has been forwarded by COMELEC to the municipal treasurers.

    Joint efforts of DepEd and COMELEC have resulted in an additional 500 pesos that will be given to teachers for transportation allowance, and another 500 pesos for those who handled Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polling precincts.

    “We at DepEd are closely working with COMELEC to guarantee teachers that they will receive due compensation on time,” Sunga said. Reports by district and regional supervisors revealed that the conduct of the synchronized barangay and SK elections held last October 29, 2007 was generally peaceful and orderly.

     

     

  • Oct 19 2007

    DepEd stands up against poverty

    Employees of the Department of Education endured the sweltering afternoon heat as they answered the call to unite against poverty in the Philippines and around the globe during a rally in front of the DepEd offices in Pasig City on October 17, 2007.

    The event "Stand Up, Speak Out" gathered staff from various DepEd departments clad in white – the color symbolizing the fight against poverty and global hunger.

    In accordance with Presidential Proclamation 717 which declares October 17-23 of this and succeeding years as the National Week for Overcoming Poverty, students and teachers from public schools across the country were likewise enjoined to participate and conduct their own programs for the campaign. These include the Food For School Program, and classroom discussions as well as various competitions advocating poverty reduction through awareness.

    The local theme for this year's campaign "Kumilos, Manindigan, Labanan ang Kahirapan" complements the international theme "Stand Up, Speak Out Against Poverty and for the Millenium Development Goals". Set by the United Nations, the theme challenges individuals as well as various sectors of society – government agencies, non-government organizations and private institutions – to take an active role in alleviating the condition of the poor.

    "DepEd is a core member of the National Anti-Poverty Commission and as such we are determined to create programs that will enable the community to be more involved in the fight against poverty," Undersecretary Ramon Bacani explained. "The fight against poverty is not ours alone. It is the fight of every Filipino. Indeed, it concerns each individual in this planet. Poverty affects us all. It is only through a united effort that we can end it."

     

     

  • Oct 19 2007

    Stakeholders tap radio in delivering education services

    Education stakeholders recently launched “Education for All Through Radio” (EFAR) which seeks to build a network of institutions that will harness radio as alternative means of providing education services to the less privileged.

    According to the Foundation Information Technology Education and Development (FIT-ED), the program proponent, EFAR will tap content providers, broadcasters, teaching institutions, technology providers, and development organizations in delivering education services to those who have special needs and with little or no access through traditional system.

    Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said a huge number of schoolaged children who are supposed to be in school are out of school. The Department with the assistance of education stakeholders intends to provide wider access to basic education with the use of multi-media.

    “The EFAR provides opportunities for out-of-school children and youth to gain basic education through radio-based instructions,” Lapus said.” Funded by the Coca-Cola Company, the EFAR aims to develop curriculum-relevant radio content and enhance existing ones in the areas of Science, Mathematics, English as a second language, health and environment, among others. It also provides facilitators’ guide including teacher training and learner’s supplementary materials. The beneficiaries of the project are general public – for radio only.

    Meanwhile, special interest groups such as teachers, out-ofschool youth, indigenous peoples, children and adults in remote communities or conflict-afflicted areas will use radio as well as face-to-face sessions. The program will be implemented in partnership with the Department of Education, the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and Development, and the Alternative Forum for Research in
    Mindanao.

    EFAR will be piloted in the divisions of Abra, Nueva Viscaya, Aklan, Cebu Province, Dumaguete City, Northern Samar, Davao City, Davao Oriental, Island Garden City of Samal, and Panabo City.

     

     

  • Oct 19 2007

    CARAGA Region scores big in NAT

    The National Achievement Test (NAT) given to second year high school students by the Department of Education (DepEd) this year showed students in Caraga Region registering remarkable performance in key subjects.

    Dr. Nelia Benito, Director of the National Educational Testing and Research Center of DepEd said that in terms of regional performance, the Caraga region fared well with their counterparts by posting percentage gains in Math, English, Science, Filipino and Araling
    Panlipunan.

    The NAT results showed the achievement level of Caraga in the different subject areas improved. For English, the mean percentage score (MPS) increased to 66 from last year’s 64. Similarly Mathematics increased from 59 to 61, Science 60 to 62, and Araling Panlipunan, 63 to 66.

    Topping all schools in Caraga is Mainit National High School in Surigao del Norte which got a MPS of 94.31 in all subjects. “The performance of our students in Caraga attest to the gains of the program initiatives the department has been implementing with the
    support of the LGU and other stakeholders,” said Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Vilma Labrador. “When we work together, we can fulfill our promise of better education for our children.”

    Meanwhile, more students moved up to average mastery from low mastery. And the number of students with average mastery has increased by 6% from 516,715 last year to 718,064 this year. Many of these students showed major improvement in their mastery of English,
    Science, and Mathematics, by as much as 19%. Similarly, more high schools moved up to higher mastery levels Schools with average mastery increased by 7% from last year’s 69% to 74% this year.

    DepEd also reported that there are no more schools or students found to be in the absolutely no mastery level. Previous to this, the elementary NAT results taken by some 1.6 million grade six students showed a marked over-all performance in all subject areas, registering a 5.28 percent increase in MPS which is well above the target of two percent.

    Equally noteworthy is that in the Reading Comprehension Test in English and Filipino for Grade 3 administered this year, more grade three students have shown significant improvement in their reading and comprehension abilities, posting an aggregate 22.4 percent increase in their mean percentage score in both Filipino and English.

     

     

  • Oct 18 2007

    Sam Concepcion is new DepEd youth spokesperson

    Multimedia teen star, Sam Concepcion is the department’s new youth spokesperson and role model. He was presented to Sec Jesli Lapus in a simple ceremony held at the Bulwagan ng karunungan, Ultra, Pasig City today.

    The meeting took place before DepEd-Center for Students and Co-Curricular Affairs (CSCA) Executive Director Joey Pelaez, STAGES talent manager Carlo Orosa and some department officials and employees.  Secretary Lapus asked Sam to inspire young Filipinos to see how education can improve oneself and the nation.

    “This is a big responsibility but I will do my share and give it my best shot,” Sam said.
    According to the education chief, Sam was chosen for his accomplishments in the entertainment industry, and for maintaining an admirable public image while choosing to prioritize his studies.

    As a spokesperson, Sam will spearhead education campaigns and advocate co-curricular concerns through the SAMa SAMa sa Eskwela project and other activities. Sam is a STAGES talent who received critical acclaim for topbilling “High School Musical,” and is a part of “Y Speak.” He has starred in “Little Big Star” where he was named “Brightest Star.” He was an Aliw Award’s nominee for “Best Child Performer,” “Best New Male Artist,” K-zone Award’s nominee for “Best Male Singer of the Year,” and Yes Award’s nominee for the “Next Male Superstar.” The list of DepEd’s previous spokespersons include Rico Yan, Shaira Luna, Onemig Bondoc, Dingdong Dantes, among others.

     

     

  • Oct 12 2007

    Japan opens doors to Asian studes, teacher scholars

    The AFS Intercultural Programs Philippines is now accepting applications for the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) study tour in Japan this year to foster solidarity among Asian countries.

    The program runs from December 8 to 21 and is open to private and public school students and teachers from the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and India.

    JENESYS aims to create a commonly shared future vision for the region towards promoting mutual understanding through youth exchange among students and teachers in Asia. According to Executive Director Joey Pelaez of the Center for Students and Co-curricular Affairs (CSCA), the Philippines has 60 slots for students and six slots for teachers. “The students and teachers will enjoy and learn much through the study tours, attendance in Japanese schools and homestay,” Pelaez said. To qualify, applicants should be enrolled in fourth year high school or its equivalent in the home country at the time of application; 15 to 18 years old upon arrival in Japan; capable of adjusting to family life abroad; have the ability to conduct daily conversation in English or Japanese; and have not joined any similar invitation program to Japan.

    All expenses while in the host country, including the roundtrip airfare, shall be borne by Japan, while travel expenses to and from the city in the Philippines shall be charged against local funds, local school board funds or from solicitations from private organizations. Expenses for the issuance of passport shall be paid by the participant.

    Applicants are required to pay an application fee of five hundred pesos to the AFS Returnees Foundation Philippines on or before October 19. For more details, please contact CSCA office at tel. nos: (02) 631-8495 or (02) 636-3603.

     

  • Oct 11 2007

    Launching of Sam Concepcion as DepED Spokesperson for the Youth

    Media outfits are invited to send their reporters and news crew to the event at the date, time and venue stated below:

    WHAT : Launching of Sam Concepcion as DepEd Spokesperson for the Youth
    WHEN : October 11, 2007 (Thursday)
    TIME : 12:00 PM
    WHERE : Bulwagan ng Karunungan, G/F Rizal Building, DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City
    SPEAKERS:

    Secretary Jesli Lapus, Department of Education; Director Joey Pelaez, Center for Students and Co-curricular Affairs; Sam Concepcion, DepEd Spokesperson for the Youth

     

    Sam Concepcion as DepEd spokesperson will spearhead and advocate various educational campaigns and causes; encourage participation in wholesome, healthy and productive co-curricular activities; and enjoin school attendance and academic performance.

    Photo opportunities available. For more information about the event, please call  Boots Bautista or Leo Tuazon, Communications Officers, at (02) 633-7208 or 631-6033.

    Thank you

     

     

  • Oct 11 2007

    DepEd sets record straight on COA report

    The Department of Education said in a statement that while the data from its Basic Education Information System is used to identify priority areas with shortages for school building construction, there are other factors being considered in finalizing the priority areas where the classrooms constructed.

    “The results of actual field validation by both central and division offices determine the final location and the extent of construction work required,” the DepEd statement said.  The Roxas Law also prescribes a formula for the allocation of classrooms which is largely school-age population based. In addition congressional initiatives and LGU Special Education Funds contribute to classroom construction.

    DepEd issued the statement in reaction to a Manila Times story which said that DepEd prioritized constructing buildings in areas where the need was less acute based on 2005-2006 Commission on Audit report.  The post-audit reports are currently being addressed by the present dispensation. Most of the COA findings have already been satisfactorily addressed by the department in its letter to COA dated September 17, 2007.

    Meanwhile, DepEd said today that P16 million worth of rice that the same COA report said were distributed in areas not in the allocation list came from the initial record before the Food for School Program was expanded.  “COA based its report on the initial phase of the program when the recipients were only 25 selected schools in the National Capital Region,” said Education Undersecretary Vilma Labrador for Programs and Projects.

    Labrador said that the 833,400 kilos of rice worth P16.6 million distributed to schools not in the first allocation list were actually additional recipients when the program was expanded by Malacanang in March 2006 to include the whole of the National Capital Region and all
    schools in Sulu and Tawi-tawi.  On distributing well-milled rice instead of iron-fortified rice, DepEd clarified that there is actually a memorandum of agreement between DepEd and the National Food Authority which specified that in case there is no available fortified rice, a well milled rice will be provided so as not to interrupt the program. Iron-fortified rice is usually imported and not readily available in the local market.  Regular annual COA reports of all government agencies usually contain observations and findings. These must be satisfactorily addressed by agency management before COA issues its formal Audit Opinion Certificate of the financial statements.

     

     

  • Oct 05 2007

    SM Prime Holdings, Deutsche Bank AG partners with DepEd for school buildings

    Department of Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus today signed a Memorandum of Agreement with SM Prime Holdings, Inc and Deutsche Bank AG Manila Branch forging a partnership for the construction of a 4-classroom 2 storey school building through the Department's Adopt-A-School Program.

    "This need for more classrooms is an important concern that we are continuously addressing at the Department. We are thankful for the efforts of our friends from the private sector for being a constant partner in responding to this concern," said secretary Lapus.

    SM Prime Holdings and Deutsche Bank equally sponsored the school building which is fully furnished with chairs, tables and equipment.

    The beneficiary of this building is Llano Elementary School in Caloocan. The total cost of the building along with the furniture and the equipment is estimated at P2 million. SM Prime Holdings, Inc. has previously donated P5.25 million worth of classrooms for seven schools: Mambuaya Elementary School and Consolacion Elemetary School (Cagayan de Oro), San Vicente Elementary School and Pandacaqui Resettlement Elementary School (Pampanga), Padre Burgos Elementary School, Dalahican Elementary School, and Ransohan Elementary School (Quezon) and the renovation of a 3-classroom school building was for F. Bernardino Memorial Trade School in Marilao, Bulacan.

    SM Prime Holdings is responsible for the operation of SM Malls throughout the country. A member of the SM Group of Companies, it is owned and chaired by founder Henry Sy. SM Foundation, Inc. is the socio-civic arm of the SM Group of Companies. Their advocacy for education is primarily through scholarship programs and donated infrastructures.

    Deutsche Bank is one of the top three foreign banks managing fiduciary assets in the country, and is a designated clearing bank to a number of top brokers. Deutsche Bank has been involved in a number of local philanthropic activities focused on charitable projects which aim to reduce the impact of urban poverty and promote education to a number of underprivileged young children, among other initiatives, by financing the construction of classroom buildings within and outside Metro Manila.

    The donation of the school buildings will be coursed through the Adopt-A-School Program, DepEd's office which facilitates private-public partnerships for education. About P1.5 billion worth of school facilities have been donated to DepEd through the Adopt-A-School Program from year 2000 to 2006. For 2007 alone, P85 million worth of 139 classrooms are being donated.

     

    For more information, please contact Rolly Soriano, The Adopt-A-School Secretariat, 5 th Floor, Bonifacio Bldg., DepEd Complex, Meralco Ave. , Pasig City, Tel. Nos. (632) 638-8637 or 39, Email: secretariat@adopt-a-school.ph.

     

     

  • Sep 27 2007

    Habitat for Humanity partners with DepEd for school building and teacher housing

    Department of Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus today signed a memorandum of agreement with Habitat for Humanity Philippines Foundation, Inc. forging a partnership for the construction of school buildings and teacher housing through the Department's Adopt-A-School Program (ASP).

    "While we recognize the need to continuously build classrooms, today we emphasize the need to build classrooms cost-effectively and with the participation of stakeholders in the community. We also recognize the need to help our teachers find affordable housing facilities through Habitat," said Lapus.

    The partnership provides private sector entities the opportunity to donate classrooms through the Habitat way which involves volunteer efforts of community stakeholders and cheaper construction costs.

    The partnership also opens an opportunity to provide affordable housing for DepEd employees. With Habitat as the builder of the facilities, the local government will be tapped to provide the land.  DepEd employees can avail of the housing package through the community mortgage program or the Pag-IBIG Fund.

    "With Habitat's technology and with the support of our local government, we can provide very affordable housing for our teaching and non-teaching personnel, especially for those who have no permanent homes," Lapus added.

    Lapus has ordered a task force to determine the number of DepEd personnel who will benefit from the housing facility with Habitat. He also asked the team to go through the details of the project, including ways on how to fund the facility. Meanwhile, Habitat President and Chief Executie Officer Alberto L. Jugo said that a teacher could pay as low as P600-P1000 / month for a duplex if paid for thirty years through the Pag-IBIG Fund.

    Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian ministry that seeks to eliminate housing shortage. They work with people of all backgrounds and religions to build houses together with families in need. Today, it has built more than 15,000 houses in the Philippines in more than 100 communities.

    Quoting an African proverb, " It takes a village to educate a child," Lapus said the partnership will not only help build more affordable classrooms and homes, it, too, will engage and encourage more stakeholders to be involved in channeling resources to public schools.

    The engagement is being coursed through DepEd's ASP which facilitates private-public partnerships for education. The Adopt-A-School Program was relaunched in September 2006 by Lapus to generate more resources and interventions from the private sector. It has since generated P4.5 billion worth of agreements signed, commitments, pledges and actual contributions, surpassing the P2.1 billion generated by the program from year 2000 to 2006.

     
    For more information, please contact:

    The Adopt-A-School Secretariat
    5th Floor, Bonifacio Building
    DepEd Complex, Meralco Ave.,
    Pasig City

    Tel. Nos: (632) 638-8637 or 39

    Email: secretariat@adopt-a-school.ph

  • Sep 24 2007

    MOA signing between the Department of Education and Habitat for Humanity Philippines Foundation Inc.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    Media outfits are invited to send their reporters and news crew to the event at the date, time and venue stated below:

    WHAT : MOA signing between the Department of Education and Habitat for Humanity Philippines Foundation, Inc.
    WHEN : September 25, 2007 (Tuesday)
    TIME : 3:00 PM
    WHERE :

    OSEC Conference Room

    2/F Rizal BuildingDepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City

    SPEAKERS :

    Secretary Jesli A. Lapus

    Department of Education


    Chairman Francis I. Ferrer

    Habitat for Humanity Philippines Foundation, Inc.


    The partnership between DepEd and Habitat for Humanity Philippines Foundation, Inc seeks to strengthen its advocacy to improve Philippine education through the efforts of the entire community.

    Photo opportunities available. Interested individuals are requested to confirm their attendance with Rolly Soriano, Special Project Officer, at (02) 638-8637.

    Thank you

     

     

  • Sep 24 2007

    School Children: Unintended Victims of Suspension of Cyber Ed

    DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus laments that it is rather unfortunate that school children in public schools nationwide has become the unintended victims of the suspension of the Cyber Education Project.

    Sec. Lapus said that while he fully supports the wisdom of President Arroyo in her decision to suspend both the NBN and the Cyber Ed projects, he is saddened by the resulting delay in the delivery of high quality basic education to some 13 million school children nationwide, envisioned under the project. Our efforts to massively use ICT in education have been set back to the detriment of our public school children.

    "Nevertheless, we will use the time to improve both the design and implementation plans of the project through consultations with the various stakeholders. After all, he added, unlike the NBN project, the Cyber Ed project is still a "work in progress." There has been no loan agreement nor a supplier contract signed for the said project.

    The Cyber Ed project, when fully developed, is designed to provide direct interaction to its intended clientele – the school children and teachers. The Cyber Ed project intends to deliver the same high quality education direct to the classrooms and favors schools that are in far-flung communities nationwide. The project will also enable good governance in the entire Department of Education by providing automated and online school administration and management information systems.

    Sec. Lapus also assures the public that the Cyber Ed Project has not distracted the DepEd in its pursuit of mobilizing resources for basic education resource needs such as classrooms, textbooks, school furniture as well as teachers' hiring and training. In addition to the annual budgetary appropriations, Sec. Lapus has pursued private sector involvements under the Adopt-a-School Program, foreign donors such as AUSAID and innovative initiative as securitizing the Special Education Fund in funding these basic learning resource needs.

    DepEd is currently implementing a US$ 200 million loan from the World Bank for such purposes even as the ADB/JBIC-funded Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project (SEDIP) worth P6.8 billion is drawing to a close by the year end. The Third Elementary Education Project worth PhP 11 billion was satisfactorily completed last 2006.