MANILA, Philippines—A puppy love is turning into a full-blown romance.
Buoyed by the recent triumph of the Azkals, Education Secretary Armin
Luistro is seeking to infuse fresh talent for the national team of
local Filipinos and foreigners.
Luistro said he was set to hold talks with football associations to
see how the public school system could support the national program,
currently taking off with the unprecedented exploits of the team named
after stray dogs.
The Department of Education (DepEd) chief is considering developing
specialized schools for sports, where students with athletic potential
could undergo focused training.
2 promotion groups
“There are two groups—I will not mention their names yet—who would
like to promote football in schools. I’ll also start talking to football
associations to see how public schools could be supportive of a
national program,” Luistro told the Inquirer.
He said he was awed by Filipinos smitten by the game when he caught
the last 20 minutes of the match between the Azkals and Mongolia at
Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City last week.
“I caught the second goal and I think that really, it’s a game for Filipinos … You could really feel the crowd,” Luistro said.
“I think the Azkals have changed the way Filipinos look at football.
Now we need to redirect that and use this to push for a [school-based]
program that is in line with the national program,” he added.
Popular in Vizmin
Luistro said efforts to develop a school football program must focus
on towns or cities where residents are known to have a natural
inclination for the sport.
He said football, long eclipsed by basketball in the national sports
consciousness, has long been enjoying popularity in the Visayas and
Specialized schools should also be developed as “there are not too many schools that have spaces big enough for football.”
“To support football even in public schools without big playing
fields, we can look for sponsors to distribute footballs to schools and
promote street football—futsal,” Luistro said.
Specialized high schools
“I think that would be a sustainable way. Then we could still
identify specialized high schools which we could support with a
full-blown football sports program,” he added.
The DepEd has long been planning to develop specialized high schools
for sports, the arts and technical-vocational learning as part of the
proposed K+12 (kindergarten plus 12 years) program, an expansion of the
10-year basic education cycle.
The proposal, which aims to develop highly employable high school
graduates, is undergoing public consultations that are set to culminate
Source: INQUIRER.net, Tarra Quismundo, 02-16-2011