“Education knows no limits, no bounds, no color nor race. It is a continuous quest for knowledge. It is the leverage between the rich and the poor. Its universality applies to all,” reckon Deputy Administrator Josefino I. Torres of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in his keynote speech during the 15th Conference of Philippine Schools Overseas (PSO). The event was held on May 15-17, 2017 at the N Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental. It was attended by fifty-four representatives from 26 Philippine Schools in China, East Timor, Greece, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.
The annual conference, spearheaded by the Inter-Agency Committee on Philippine Schools Overseas (IACPSO), is a regular meeting of PSOs’ key officers and personnel to promote inter-school cooperation. It also aims to promote and strengthen Philippine curriculum-based education abroad in order to ensure continuing education for Filipino students who are living in other countries.
Themed, “Philippine Schools Overseas in Continuous Quest for Quality and Relevant Basic Education,” the conference was formally opened by the members of the IACPSO represented by Deputy Administrator Torres of the OWWA, Director Maria Regina Angela G. Galias, Interim Officer-In-Charge of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Director Jocelyn DR. Andaya of the Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD) of the Department of Education (DepEd), Labor Attaché Bulyok S. Nilong of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Atty. Chares Marie Torres-Elacion of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Mayor Oscar S. Moreno also graced the opening ceremonies and welcomed the conference participants to Cagayan de Oro City and to the whole Northern Mindanao.
In his keynote speech, DA Torres commended all the stakeholders of PSOs for reaching out to the children of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) or in general the Filipino youth living miles away from the Philippines, through education. He also shared with the participants the OWWA programs in the field of education through the scholarship offerings to the active members’ beneficiaries. He promised to develop programs in OWWA which will support the children of OFWs enrolled in PSOs.
The first plenary session started with the discussion by Director Andaya of the DepEd-BCD on the updates on the implementation of the K to 12 Program. Director Andaya also discussed the draft DepEd guidelines on work immersion and capstone project. She mentioned that the final guidelines on the Work immersion and capstone project will be released soon by the DepEd.
Dr. Riza C. Gusano of the DepEd-BCD also talked about the Policy Guidelines on Awards and Recognition for the K to 12 Basic Education, otherwise known as the DepEd Order No. 36, s. 2016. Dr. Gusano shared that the rationale in revising the said guidelines is to recognize the outstanding performance and achievement of learners in academics, leadership and social responsibilities.
A Rex Bookstore International-sponsored lecture on “Leadership and Management in the 21st Century Schools” was presented by Dr. Shirley A. Padua. Dr. Padua said that the world is changing, thus, school leaders must transform themselves to meet the new demands of the 21st Century. School leaders need to step up to lead in a very different education environment and that the changes in the environment requires the 21st Century School leaders to be a visionary, an instructional leader, an influencer and a learner.
On the second day, Dr. Elsie Esmer of the DepEd’s Bureau of Learning Delivery lectured on “Innovative Teaching and Learning Strategies for Diverse Learners.” Dr. Esmer mentioned that differentiated instruction is a flexible approach to teaching in which a teacher plans and carries out varied approaches to address content, learning processes, learning styles, practical procedures, presentation strategies and assessment tools. Dr. Esmer also discussed the different adaptations to accommodate a student’s needs so he or she can achieve the learning outcomes of the curriculum and demonstrates mastery of concepts. She emphasized that adaptations can be made available to all students, both with and without a learning disability.
Ms. Marieta C. Atienza of the DepEd’s Bureau of Planning Service oriented the participants about the features and guidelines of the DepEd’s Learner Information System (LIS) and Enhanced Basic Education Information System (EBIS). According to her, the LIS is a web-based system, linked with EBEIS, maintaining the registry of learners and enables the establishment of a centralized “Learner Regsitry.” The LRN, which is intended to reference a “Registry of Learners’, is a unique and a permanent 12-digit number assigned to a person who enters the Philippine Basic Education Program. The basic learner information is captured and accessed through a secured facility to enhance tracking and decision-making on learners at various levels of DepEd management.
Ms. Atienza also informed the participants that in the EBEIS, a unique six (6) digit number is assigned to a DepEd-recognized school (public or private). However, she said that for PSOs to be assigned a school ID, they must have valid permits or recognition from the DepEd.
Labor Attaché Bulyok S. Nilong and Director Leonor C. Mabagal of the OWWA Region X on the DOLE/OWWA programs and services for OFWs, respectively.
A C & E Publishing Inc. - sponsored lecture on “Positive Discipline in the Inclusive-Learning Friendly Classroom” was provided by Dr. Leticia Peñano – Ho, President, Philippine Center for Gifted Education. Dr. Ho defined positive discipline as an approach to teaching that helps children succeed, gives them the information that they need to learn, and supports their development. Discipline, according to Dr. Ho is teaching, developmental, it builds character and it is long term. However, for it to be effective, Dr. Ho emphasized that it has to be applied in mutual respect, in a firm, fair, reasonable and consistent manner.
Given that PSO administrators and teachers are also OFWs, Atty. Aisa G. Maunting- Alonto and Mr. Emeterio B. Gonzales, Jr. of PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig Fund, respectively, shared the available programs and benefits of the said government agencies to OFWs.
Capping the 3-day conference is for PSOs to organize themselves and elect the new set of officers of the Association Philippine Schools Overseas (APSO). Dr. Alexander S. Acosta, School Principal of the Philippine School Doha was elected for the second time as president of the association with a term of three years.
The closing ceremonies included the awarding of certificates of attendance and the USBs containing the conference materials to the participants and sponsors.
In behalf of the participants, Ms. Luz C. Ta-a, School Principal of the Philippine School in Greece (PSG) thanked the organizers for the holding of the conference and mentioned that it is a very good venue for PSO administrators and teachers to keep abreast on the current trends in education.
Ms. Galias of the CFO delivered the closing remarks to the participants. She lauded all the participants for their continuous promotion of Philippine education overseas and demonstration of commitment to excellence and quality education.
The conference ended with the raffle from the conference sponsors and cultural presentation of the Liceo Folkloric Dance Troupe, a resident theatre group of the Liceo de Cagayan University, featuring the traditional dances of the diverse cultures of Mindanao.
|The Liceo Folkloric Dance Troupe dancing Singkil, a famous dance of the Maranao people of lake Lanao.|
The conference was made possible through the sponsorship of the Rex Bookstore, Inc. – International, F & J de Jesus, Inc., Phoenix Publishing House, Inc., Jo-Es Publishing House, Inc., University of Asia and the Pacific, Central Book Supply, Inc., Diwa Learning Systems, Inc., Southville International School Affiliated with Foreign Universities, WCC Aeronautical and Technological College, C & E Publishing, Inc., Phoenix Educational Systems, Inc., De La Salle - College of St. Benilde, H & D Information Technology, Inc., Abiva Publishing House, Inc., SoFA Design Institute, and Vibal Group, Inc.
CFO Press Release