Youth leaders step up initiatives to assist fellow learners in the new normal

September 27, 2020 – In response to help their fellow learners, two youth leaders, Alliah Nicole Sayo and Anna Abigail Ticzon, discussed their respective efforts to assist their schools and communities in the new normal set-up during the Handang Isip, Handa Bukas press briefing on Monday.

Ilocos Sur Supreme Student Government (SSG) president and incoming Grade 12 Alliah Sayo shared that their organization spearheaded several donation drives including Kahon ng Karunungan, a project to help fellow learners in their education amidst the pandemic by distributing school supplies and hygiene kits.

“We will also be uploading online tutorial videos for the students about certain topics in their lessons and also we will be sharing learning materials like e-books and PDF files that can help them in the distance learning for the School Year 2020-2021,” Sayo said.  

Through Sayo’s leadership, their SSG also initiated a fundraising project for Kutchero and Tour Guides where they were able to distribute food packs to 146 kutcheros and 23 tour guides in their province.

Meanwhile, San Pablo City Science Integrated High School SSG President Ticzon highlighted SciHigh on the Net to fully utilize social media pages and to connect more with schoolmates despite not seeing them in person due to the new normal setup.

“With SciHigh on the Net, the Supreme Student Government of San Pablo City Science Integrated High School will stand up and prove that no pandemic shall hinder us in giving inclusive, empowering, and compassionate service,” Ticzon said.

“Institutions have a responsibility to provide inclusive quality learning while students have a role to learn. And with us being the student leaders, we are assigned to help in connecting these two ends and make it as one. To my fellow youth and organization officers, I am counting on you,” Ticzon emphasized.

Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones lauded the efforts of various students and parent-teacher association in making sure that education will be delivered to the learners and efforts in helping the department as the opening of classes approach.

“As we approach the opening of the school year on October 5, paganda nang paganda ang balita. 14 days na lamang ang natitura. Para tayong nagbibilang para sa Pasko. Ang ganda naman ng mga balita naririnig natin at shine-share sa inyo na kasama sa pag-prepare sa opening ng School Year 2020-2021,” said Secretary Briones.


DepEd continues to drive improvements to teaching quality with new standards for school leaders

The roles of school heads and supervisors in improving teacher quality are now more clearly defined with the issuance of two landmark education policies that set professional standards for the country’s school leaders.

The Department of Education issued DO 24, s. 2020 or the National Adoption and Implementation of the Philippine Professional Standards for School Heads (PPSSH), and DO 25, s. 2020 or the National Adoption and Implementation of the Philippine Professional Standards for Supervisors (PPSS).

“The changes of various national and global frameworks in education and the changing characteristics of our 21st century learners necessitate a call for the rethinking of our professional standards for our school heads and supervisors,” Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.

“This is part of our efforts to prepare the Department for the transition into the future. We want to develop effective school leaders beyond our terms and beyond our lifetime for the future of education,” Secretary Briones added.

DepEd Undersecretary for Planning, Human Resource and Organizational Development, and Field Operations Jesus Lorenzo Mateo said that the development of the PPSSH and the PPSS is one of the Department’s key reforms in improving the quality of education.

“Quality learning outcomes are produced by quality teachers, who are supported by effective school leaders,” Undersecretary Mateo said. “Ensuring the delivery of quality education requires clear professional standards that are responsive to the demands of the dynamic education environment.”

The landmark policies are a product of a long-standing partnership between the Philippine and the Australian governments. Australia, through its support to the Philippine National Research Center for Teacher Quality (RCTQ)—a partnership between the Philippine Normal University and the University of New England, Australia—worked with DepEd in developing the two sets of standards.

“The development and adoption of professional standards for school heads, supervisors and teachers are significant milestones in DepEd’s efforts to improve teaching quality,” said Richard Sisson, acting Australian Ambassador. “We are pleased that in time for National Teachers’ Month, DepEd has adopted these evidence-based policies, which will help align the education system with global standards while responding to the Philippine context.”

The newly-adopted standards, which are consistent with the K to 12 reforms, set out clear expectations of school heads and supervisors at different career stages, from beginning to exemplary practice. The standards encourage greater proficiency; provide support for professional learning and development; help identify development needs; and facilitate uniform assessment of performance.

They also complement the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST) – a major teacher quality reform supported by Australia and RCTQ – that was adopted as DepEd policy in 2017 and is now used by over 800,000 public school teachers.

RCTQ Director Dr. Gina Gonong said the professional standards will “provide a clear framework for school leaders to deepen their expertise in pedagogical, management and leadership skills, in ways that support improved student learning outcomes.”

“Teaching quality has been at the core of Australia’s education cooperation with the Philippines for more than 30 years, and we look forward to continuing our productive partnership,” Mr Sisson said. 

In the DepEd system, there are currently 43,448 school heads and 5,550 supervisors who will put the policy into practice.   

Imus National High School unveils solar panels for education, environmental sustainability

December 10, 2020 – To introduce sustainable energy for the future of learners, the Imus National High School (INHS) formally launched its solar panels through the Legacy Projects of the City Government of Imus and the Green School Program (GSP).

“Nangangako ako na when the results are in and if we discover and we have the evidence that when we create green schools, learners will learn better, we will use resources more efficiently walang dahilan na hindi natin ipamalita sa ibang sangay, sa ibang DepEd offices sa CALABARZON at sa buong bansa na ang gawain katulad nito ay dapat na tinutularan,” Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said.

Led by INHS Principal Arturo Rosaroso, Jr., INHS and GSP held previous projects such as improvised water harvesters, greening, and recycling projects that led to the granting of solar panels.

“Ito na ang realisasyon ng isang pangarap.  Pangarap lamang ito noong simula, pangarap kung saan gusto po nating ipakita, hindi lamang dito sa ating paaralan kundi pati [na rin] sa ating lungsod na ang mga nanunungkulan at ang buong mamamayan ng Imuseño ay mayroong totoong pagmamahal, pagbibigay importansya, at pangangalaga sa ating kapaligiran,” shared City Mayor Emmanuel L. Maliksi.

Spearheaded by Maliksi, the said grant was in partnership with Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company (MERALCO) under the Imus City Legacy Projects which aims to create a clean and green city.

“Sa Imus, kaalinsabay sa pag-unlad ay ang pangangalaga sa kalikasan, kasama ito sa pinahahalagahan natin. Hindi lang ito basta proyekto kundi mga programa na magiging Legacy Project na iiwan ng ating lungsod para sa susunod pang mga henerasyon,” Imus City Vice Mayor Arnel Cantimbuhan added.

In response to the harmful effects on the environment and the increasing expenses of the school, INHS has switched to environmental-friendly alternatives to sustain its increasing energy demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the citizens of Imus to use more electricity to cope with the new normal of education.

“The school program aims [to] create a healthy environment that is conducive to learning while saving energy, resources, and money. This is the process where [schools] pursue knowledge and practices with intentions of becoming more environmentally friendly and more economically responsible,” INHS Principal Rosaroso emphasized.

With the continuous support of the City Government of Imus and Schools Division Office (SDO) of Imus City, DepEd, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Principal Rosaroso has hoped that the project will encourage the youth to contribute to creating more sustainable approaches in the environment.

“[I] want our learners to realize that despite the pandemic, schools [should] not stop pursuing education sustainability and that they should not stop learning,” Rosaroso noted.