Every year in the month of May in the Philippines, public schools all over the country get ready for the opening of the new School Year in June in what the Department of Education calls the National Schools Maintenance Week or Brigada Eskwela. To those who have heard this for the first time, Brigada Eskwela is that week-long event where all stakeholders of education in the community work hand in hand to ensure that school facilities are ready for Day 1 of the new School Year in June.
DepEd Region-X however, is aiming not only for preparedness in the schools’ physical facilities but the students’ learning materials as well. For this reason, the Regional Office pushed for the refinement and finalization of the Lesson Guides in Homeroom Guidance so that all Homeroom Guidance Teachers in Region X will have teaching materials to use for the entire School Year. That’s correct – not for one day, not for one quarter but for the entire School Year.
For two days, Registered Guidance Counselors and Career Advocates from all Divisions in Region X together with their Education Program Supervisors in EsP (Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao or Values Education) gathered again at the National Educators’ Academy of the Philippines (NEAP) in Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City for the finalization of Lesson Guides in Homeroom Guidance.
Early Risers. With Ms. Roslaine Talaroc (right), Education Program Supervisor in Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao of Oroquieta City Division.
The same team met in this very same place about five months ago for the initial crafting of the Lesson Guides but there was so much room for improvement, and so to close the gap DepEd Regional Office X, under the exceptional leadership of Regional Director Allan G. Farnazo, summoned the team once again.
MESSAGE FROM OUR LEADERS
Every visit to NEAP is a wonderful opportunity for every educator to serve but what makes it even more special is the chance to get inspired and taught by our highly competent leaders in the Region.
Bits of Inspiration from Dr. Usaman
Curriculum and Learning Management Division (CLMD) Chief, Dr. Shambaeh Usman never fails to fan the embers of creativity, industry and patriotism in her audience. On April 27, 2017, Day 1 of the workshop, she graced us with her presence and delivered another outstanding address to the writers. While the Revitalized Homeroom Guidance Program is not new, the Department saw the need for further revitalization to integrate it to the Kto12 Curriculum and the current reality of the Filipino youth. Dr. Usman emphasized the point she recently shared with fellow educators in the Region. As CLMD Chief, she said she always goes for the consistency of the head, heart and hand and she encourages everyone to share the same sentiments. As we strive for academic excellence and fill our students’ heads with knowledge, we must also strike a balance between filling their hearts with love, kindness and compassion, and guiding their hands in the skilful pursuit of productivity and creativity so they learn to steer away from idleness.
“Idleness among children, as among men, is the source of all evil, and leads to no other evil more certain than ill temper.” – Hannah More
Biggest Take-Away from the Regional Director
Of course what is a visit to NEAP without hearing from DepEd Regional Office X Director Allan G. Farnazo. The Director was in Antique for the Palarong Pambansa that week but that did not stop him from delivering his message to the writers of the Lesson Guides in RHGP.
We were all done and ready to begin the Closing Program when everything suddenly went dark and quiet in the hall, you could hear a pin a drop. We lost power. That did not keep us from going on with the ceremonious closing though. Regional Education Program Supervisor in EsP, Rosita Yburan, called the Director and put him on loud speaker for everyone in the hall to hear.
The Director happens to have both a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and a soft spot for the Filipino children, and so in his message to the creators of the Lesson Guides in Homeroom Guidance that afternoon he pointed out the Filipino values he hopes to see strengthened in the children as well as the life skills they ought to learn from the lesson guides prepared for them. One particular skill he mentioned that I believe drove home the point of it all is self-mastery. After all, the RHGP as a program always sought to develop the student holistically to prepare him for his role in the family, the world of work and the community.
The two action-packed days – and nights, because most of us hardly slept at all – were days well spent at NEAP. Ms. Yburan had no intention at all of sending us home without a finished, polished and ready-to-use product for K to 11 students of Region X. With her to guide us in those two days was Regional Learning Resources Management and Development System (LRMDS) Manager, Ms. Mala Epra Magnaong, whose expertise helped us a lot in putting up together educationally sound and top quality materials.