MANILA, Philippines – To ensure that children with disabilities will
have better chances of getting access to quality education, the
Department of Education (DepEd) said Monday it will plan actions that to
set targets and milestones in basic education.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that when the Philippine
government gave its commitment to meet the Education For All (EFA) in
the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, it also meant giving educational
opportunities to those with physical disabilities.
“We can only honestly say that we are on the track towards the
realization of that commitment to the world if we have been able to
provide education for all children of school-age with equity and
accessibility,” he explained.
Luistro added that this is only possible “if we have been able to
deliver the appropriate education to all children regardless of their
race, size, shape, color, ability or disability.”
DepEd continues to push for educational reforms in basic education.
One of which, said Luistro, is equipping teachers with proper
competencies to better respond to the needs of their learners,
“particularly the children who require special attention or those who
fall under what they call children with special needs (CSN).”
True to its commitment of intensifying its efforts to make EFA a
reality, DepEd through the Special Education (SPED) Division of the
Bureau of Elementary Education (BEE), in cooperation with the Resources
for the Blind Inc. (RBI) will hold its 8th National Teachers’ Congress
on Visual Impairment on Nov. 5-7 in Tagaytay City.
Luistro said the congress aims to provide teacher-participants with
knowledge on providing their visually impaired learners the kind of
education interventions and skills for productive life. “Children are
our future. Hence, we should always provide them educational programs
that will promote their welfare and enhance their opportunities for a
meaningful life regardless of their physical capabilities.”
He added that DepEd supports children with special needs. “We should
never give up on them. It is important that we act on their plight
because our role to these visually-impaired students is important to
make them feel that they, too, can reach their full potentials.”
Luistro said DepEd has y institutionalized a specialized curriculum
and developmentally-suited programs to achieve functional literacy for
all CSNs through SPED-BEE.
The congress aims to provide an avenue for identifying effective
means and strategies to overcome pressing issues that affect the
delivery of education services to school children whose eyesight have
been impaired. “It will also enhance knowledge on managing programs and
services for children with visual impairment in the mainstream classes,”
It also aims to create a synergy among teachers, parents,
administrators, supervisors and professionals on the sustainability and
enhancement of programs and services for children with visual
“Also, part of the program is to recognize exemplary performances of
SPED teachers,” he revealed.
Luistro said that aside from SPED and regular teachers, school
administrators from both public and private schools, education
supervisors in SPED at the division and regional offices,
chiefs/assistant chiefs of the elementary and secondary education
divisions, schools division/city superintendents and assistant schools
division/city superintendents are also invited to attend. The government
and non-government organizations working with children who are visually
impaired were also invited.
The DepEd chief commended its teachers for committing themselves to
help create a difference in these children’s lives. He said that DepEd
owes it to the teachers for responding to this big challenge because
their dedication to best serve the visually impaired school children
will spell the difference in shaping their future.
“I appeal to them to carry on the faith so that students will also
believe that even with their handicap, they can still excel in areas
where they find much interest and they too have a big role to play in
building our country,” Luistro said.
Source: The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online, Ina Hernando-Malipot, 11-01-2010