QUEZON CITY DIVISION ABOT ALAM PROGRAM IN FULL SWING Alma D. Orozco/Juan C. Obierna
The Division of City Schools, Quezon City is initially realizing the Abot Alam Program by enlisting 13,765 out-of school youths as of June 6, 2014, surpassing the target number of 12,829 directive of the Department of Education. This is a clear indication that the Division is reaching out to more OSY to join the program.
The Abot Alam Program (DepEd Order No. 17 s. 2014), is a stratagem to help the out-of-school youth who are 15 to 30 years old and who have not yet completed basic/higher education or who are unemployed to finish their ducation, acquire employment and or entrepreneurship.
The implementation of the Abot Alam Program has a support communication from the DILG through Memorandum circular 2013- 18, mandating the local government units to identify the OSY in their respective barangay. With this circular prior to DepEd Order no. 17, the Division of City Schools of Quezon City took the initiative and launches a series of Barangay Forums in its six Congressional Districts as early as February of this year. The forums spearheaded by the Division ALS Supervisor, Dr. Pedro S. Vegim and Division ALS Coordinator, Mr. Juan C. Obierna, School Managers, District ALS Coordinators, Mobile Teachers, Literacy Volunteers and Instructional Managers aims to promote the Abot Alam in every barangay and to gather support for its implementation.
Community Mapping was also done to make sure that every OSY will be enlisted in the program. The ALS Implementers conducted a scheme and form groups to cover more areas during the mapping. The activity was conducted all throughout the summer amidst the registration of intense weather temperature.
The Department of Interior and Local Government has issued Memorandum Circular No. 2014 -52 on May 5, 2014, mandating the barangay secretariat through the supervision of the Punong Barangay to submit a list of all OSYs in their community. The DILG circular subsequently helped the ALS Implementers reach more OSY as they have now have help coming from the local government unit in the mapping.
The facilitating factor in the realization of this program comes from Dr. Ponciano A. Menguito, Schools Division Superintendent who sees to it that all educators in the division will take part in its advocacy and mobilization. He instructed all School Heads with their regular teachers to help in mapping out the prospective clients. Tarpaulins were posted in every school indicating the school’s support and constant coordination with the barangay officials were established.
The program with a tag line of “No Filipino Youth is Left Behind” received positive feedbacks in the community during the OSY enumeration. Parents and OSY themselves hopes that this program would materialize soon enough to answer the economic problem in our community.
At the moment the Division of Quezon City is translating the educational needs of the OSY through the Alternative Learning System and through various Alternative Delivery Modes suited to each learner. It has now starting to open windows of opportunities of entrepreneurship through Youth At Ventures, a non – government agency that helps and trains youth to become self- sufficient through their own business.
Abot-Alam Volunteers in Action!
QUEZON CITY DIVISION ABOT ALAM PROGRAM IN FULL SWING
Alma D. Orozco/Juan C. Obierna
QC, GSIS TO RENEW ACCIDENT INSURANCE AGREEMENT FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
Quezon City is set to renew its agreement with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for providing accident insurance coverage to QC senior citizens. To implement the program, the city government will shell out at least P5.2 million as premium payments to the GSIS.
Under the GSIS personal accident insurance policy, the covered can claim an indemnity of P50,000 for accidental death and a medical reimbursement of P5,000. Benefits also include a P10,000 burial assistance. The insurance coverage, however, does not cover death by sickness or old age. About 170,000 elderly residents whose ages range from 60 to 80 years are expected to benefit from the program, which was first launched by the city government in 2009.
Mayor Herbert Bautista will lead city officials in re-launching the program, which has been considered a pioneering effort by a local government unit. As part of QC's continuing initiatives to promote the welfare of its elderly residents, the city also offers them volunteer work either as tutors or caregivers and free livelihood trainings to enable QC's elderly residents to become productive even in their old age. The trainings include the home production of soap, fabric conditioners and perfumed lotion. Also offered are trainings on mat weaving.
The city also provides a one-time P10,000 financial assistance and a monthly allowance to QC centenarians. They are also given exemption from the payment of parking fees in city-based establishments. The QC Office for Senior Citizens Affairs coordinates the implementation of programs and activities for the benefit of the city's elderly residents.
QC CLASSROOM SHORTAGE PUTS 10K STUDENTS ON HOME STUDY
Better than forcing them to hold classes under a tree. As students and teachers again face a shortage of classrooms this year, one of the country’s most populated school divisions is turning to home schooling to ease overcrowding.
The Quezon City school division is placing some 10,000 students from six high schools on a home schooling program, the biggest number to be covered in a single area since the Department of Education adopted this alternative mode of teaching.
“There are 10,000 students from six high schools that will go on home study. Our city government has already allocated P20 million for that,” said assistant division superintendent Rowena Cacanindin.
Quezon City is the only school division implementing the program so far, according to Education Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo. DepEd started the program in 2002 but there were years when it was not implemented on such a large scale.
“We’ve explained it to the parents and they understand the system. We’ve been doing it for three years (in Quezon City) and our students do well. They graduate, go to college and even go abroad,” Cacanindin said on the sidelines of a school inspection in Cubao, Quezon City, on Thursday.
Betty Cavo, also an assistant schools superintendent in Quezon City, said home-schooled students had fared well in the National Achievement Test over the past years.
Home study is one of the alternatives recommended by DepEd for schools whose enrollments far exceed their classroom space and resources, particularly those in urban centers.
Under the program, students can take their lessons at home following modules patterned after the regular curriculum and meet with their teachers only on Saturdays. They graduate with a high school diploma just like any regular student.
The Quezon City schools implementing the program this school year are Batasan Hills National High School, Commonwealth High School, Holy Spirit National High School, Doña Rosario High School, North Fairview High School and Judge Feliciano Belmonte Sr. High School.
Quezon City is Metro Manila’s largest school division, with at least 500,000 students enrolled in public schools every year.
At Batasan Hills National High School, where overcrowded rooms have been a perennial problem, school officials are aiming for a more bearable classroom-to-student ratio of 1:60 per shift by “farming out” some 3,000 students through the home study program.
KINDERGARTEN LAW TO TAKE EFFECT NEXT SCHOOL YEAR
President Aquino underscored yesterday the importance of kindergarten in a child’s life, saying that the “first step” in the country’s education process is also when the child’s mind is most active. In the vernacular, the President said that by enacting the Kindergarten Law, it will now form part of the basic education curricula or our K to 12 programs.
Signed into law last Jan. 20 and formally presented by Education Secretary Armin Luistro in Malacañang yesterday, Republic Act 10157, otherwise known as “An Act Institutionalizing Kindergarten Education into the Basic Education System and Appointing Funds Thereof,” states that beginning school year 2012 to 2013, all children from age five will have to undergo kindergarten, now considered mandatory before formal education.
It means that all public school students, starting this school year 2012-2013, will have to go through pre-school before they begin their formal education, the President explained in Filipino during the formal presentation ceremony in Malacañang.
The Chief Executive maintained that the government’s advocacy to provide education for all remains a top priority of his administration, as this will provide the people the ability to improve their lives. He assured that the government will continue to create meaningful reforms that will uplift the quality of education in the country. With the help of DepEd, we will continue to push measures that will enable the K to 12 programs.
STUDY AT HOME
To ease classroom overcrowding and teacher shortage, the Quezon City school division is placing some 10,000 students from six high schools on homeschooling. This would be the biggest number to be covered in a single area since the Department of Education started this alternative mode of teaching.
One of the schools to offer homeschooling is Batasan Hills National High School (BHNHS), where overcrowded rooms have been a perennial problem. School officials said they’re aiming for a “more bearable” classroom-to-student ratio by sending some 3,000 students to home study. The ideal ratio is one classroom for every 45 students. Since BHNHS’ projected number of students is 13,450 this school year, it is going to accommodate 10,000 while “farming out” the 3,450 through homeschooling, officials said.
Under the program, students can take their lessons at home following modules patterned after the regular curriculum and meet with their teachers only on Saturdays. They graduate with a high school diploma, just like any regular student.
The DepEd was supposed to have started the program in 2002, but there were years when it was not implemented on a large scale. It has been practiced in Quezon City for three years, and city school’s division officials said the program has worked. “Our students do well,” an official said. “They graduate, go to college and even go abroad.” One wonders how everything about the QC program could be so life-changing when it has only been running for three years. But since Quezon City is now the biggest city division in the country, bigger than Manila, the capital, expect other divisions to follow.
Homeschooling is a customized or do-it-yourself educational experience, where the parents take full charge of their children’s education at home. It operates on the most obvious of premises: parents are their children’s first and best teachers, and the family is the first and foremost learning environment, the school away from school. The right of the parents to their children’s education is constitutionally enshrined. The 1987 Constitution says that “the right of parents to rear their children” is a “natural right.” Since home study is parent-centered, parents decide whether they will enroll their kids in an accredited organization, a home-school provider, or do it independently. The DepEd exercises supervisory role.
In the United States, the National Home Education Research Institute (Nheri) in a 2011 study puts the number of homeschooled population at 2.04 million. Its earlier 2009 study showed homeschoolers performing academically higher than the norm in standardized tests. “The home-school national average ranged from the 84th percentile for Language, Math and Social Studies to the 89th percentile in reading,” the report said.
But the report does not address perceptions that homeschooled children may lack the social skills that are fostered in formal education. It merely declares that homeschoolers “have interacted maturely with peers and adults.” Homeschooling has grown as a practice among upper middle-class families that tend to be so fearful of the alleged garbage their children receive in formal education. It has led to some sort of social experimentation, compelled precisely by the fear of normal social interaction that a regular school fosters. In fact, some parents resort to homeschooling because they find their children unwilling to be weaned away from them for a day in school or to play with others. Certainly, homeschooling may be viewed as merely institutionalizing the social anxiety attacks of those kids. It’s an agent of social anomie.
But what really goes against homeschooling in the Philippine setting is that it’s supervised and regulated by the DepEd, whose historically poor handling of basic education hardly inspires hope. All of the available studies about the success of homeschooling in the United States pit the performance of homeschoolers against public school students. The Nheri’s 2009 student, for example, declared, that “homeschoolers are still achieving well beyond their public school counterparts.” Regarding calls for more state regulation on homeschooling, the study concluded that the system was doing fine without more government intervention. “That’s a good reason for state governments to redirect scarce funds from regulating homeschooling to where the money is actually needed,” the study said. In short, homeschooling is good, but broader reforms are needed to solve the ills plaguing Philippine basic education.
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The K to 12 Basic Education Program
Naninindigan pa rin po tayo sa ipinangako nating pagbabago sa edukasyon: ang gawin itong sentral na estratehiya sa pamumuhunan sa pinakamahalaga nating yaman: ang mamamayang Pilipino. Sa K to 12, tiwala tayong mabibigyang-lakas si Juan dela Cruz upang mapaunlad—hindi lamang ang kanyang sarili at pamilya—kundi maging ang buong bansa. – Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III ... » Read more