Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mending bridges



Mending bridges (Day 45)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the 45th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)


“We have failed you and we are the reason why you are in here. The government has not been able to give you the support you need.” -- Br. Armin Luistro FSC during the graduation ceremonies in New Bilibid Prison last 12 March 2015.

Education for all is more than just a slogan for DepEd. It means challenging the Agency to provide learner-centered education to those who need it. One of these efforts has been providing education to those in detention centers and penitentiaries.

Last March, a Memorandum of Agreement with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) was inked to institutionalize the establishment of Alternative Learning Centers in all seven penal colonies across the country. Possible program offerings range from basic literacy subjects to Agriculture and Tech Voc subjects for students who are more advanced. It gives formal recognition to the efforts of BuCor and other private organizations who have been working our ALS facilitators all these years.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Learning in one’s first language



Learning in one’s first language (Day 44)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the 44th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)

Anong the major reforms under the K to 12 Program is the institutionalization of the Mother-Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) for students in Kinder to Grade 3. The adoption of MTB-MLE is a critical shift in education, because here we put forward and center the learning needs of the Filipino child.

The principle behind MTB-MLE is to start the learner in a language he or she is comfortable with to make learning easier for the child. By using the first language of the child as a medium of instruction, the child is able to understand and grasp concepts easier. Local and international studies have backed this up, saying that the use of mother tongue in the early years of the learner’s schooling will help produce faster and better learners.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Shake Drill



Shake Drill (Day 43)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the 43rd day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)

I move from the impacts of a disaster to how we can prepare for one.

Yesterday, the Shake Drill was conducted in the National Capital Region as part of the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED).

Usec Laguda taking cover under the office table
Usec Laguda
In particular, this drill for NCR is intended as a preparedness measure in consideration of East and West Valley faults. Based on potential scenarios combining exposure to various risks and levels of vulnerabilities, different response measures capabilities were assessed through the exercise.

However, it is also meant to raise awareness and inform people. Some may see it as an inconvenience. While it may be true, drills have a purpose - scenarios are simulated and responses are evaluated on whether they are sufficient, appropriate, realistic and successful in managing the impacts. And the success of drills is really anchored on participation.

The drills and exercises bring to our attention that there is a real risk and we should ask ourselves what we know and how prepared we are. As an individual, I need to know what I am exposed to in terms of threats. I need to understand my own vulnerabilities and capacity issues. I need to assess if I am prepared for different scenarios. As an example, if an earthquake hit Metro Manila and I was somewhere in the province for work, I would like to be assured my family is safe. I will want to know how to get back to Metro Manila. I will want to know they are safe and able to secure themselves too. The responses will be different if I was in Metro Manila at work. It would be different if it was at night.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Typhoon called Yolanda, Part 3 of 3



The Typhoon called Yolanda, Part 3 of 3 (Day 42)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the 42nd day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)

Day 3 and Beyond

We woke up early to clean up the rooms and surroundings. We received confirmation that Br. Armin Luistro and Francis Varela were making it through from Cebu via Ormoc. Br. Armin was adamant in staying wherever we were staying. I kept on offering him a place that we found where he could probably be more comfortable but he refused. So SDS Art Isip took charge and led the clean up. He even placed plants beside the room as we swept the dirt and mud from the floors. It was as if we were not in a typhoon-ravaged environment.

The first surprise we got for the morning was when Laura, the regional supply officer, came bringing along home-cooked breakfast! It was a good break from canned meat and sardines. I was telling the teachers that we would encounter, that they should start planting vegetables in Leyte National High School because as time would pass, they will get tired of canned food and noodles. Besides, it would be unhealthy too. Roland from Cebu Ecotech, being the expert in vegetable gardening, was suggesting malunggay and alugbati since these are fast growing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Typhoon called Yolanda, Part 2 of 3



The Typhoon called Yolanda, Part 2 of 3 (Day 41)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the 41st day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)

Day 2

Sleeping at Leyte Normal University’s guesthouse compound was providential because the NDRRMC command center had decided to transfer its base of operations to the provincial sports compound which was just around the corner. And so was Leyte National High School (LNHS). We had set out different tasks for the team members and split up. I went to LNHS and met up with school personnel who were present. There were several families that occupied different buildings within the school. I met Bong, who was a teacher and the designated physical facilities coordinator. The principal had not yet been accounted for together with other teachers. It was decided that LNHS was going to be DepEd’s home base since the division office was inoperable. An office was used for all teachers to sign up whenever they would show up. It was the start of a division wide accounting of DepEd personnel.

We were fortunate to have brought with us 30 liters of gasoline when we flew in to Tacloban. Gasoline was being sold at P250/liter and the lines were just so long. So I went up to a teacher who had a motorcycle and offered him two liters so that he could bring me around for the whole morning. I went to the division office to leave word and a handwritten sign saying all teachers and personnel should report to LNHS so that we could start accounting for everyone. I would then coordinate with the City offices and the other agencies to synchronize our plans. After attending the meeting with Sec Gazmin and Sec Roxas and the agency reps, I met with Peter Galvez of DND and offered DepEd personnel to help in staffing the operations center of the regional Office of Civil Defense (OCD). We also said that there was available space for military personnel to sleep in the school across so long as they helped us in cleaning up some of the flooded areas. This would also help us secure the school from possible looting. It was a win-win situation.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Typhoon called Yolanda, Part 1 of 3



The Typhoon called Yolanda, Part 1 of 3 (Day 40)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the 40th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)

(I would like to use the next three posts to recount the events during the first few weeks after Typhoon Yolanda, to show the character of the people I encountered then, especially the people from DepEd.)


When Yolanda made landfall on Nov 8, 2013, I was finishing a workshop with some ICT coordinators to revise our existing policies. By the time we ended, Yolanda had hit Eastern Visayas and pummeled through Central and Western Visayas and some parts of Bicol and Mindanao. We were tracking DepEd officials as we monitored the news closely. By Saturday, there were still a few Superintendents who had not reported, including the Regional Director for Region 8. A decision was made to get there, assess the situation and find them. A small team was formed - Jocelyn Saw, Marc Helton Sua and myself - to try to touch base. We were with Fr. IJ Chan-Gonzaga, SJ who happened to be from Tacloban.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Opening venues for children's voices to be heard



Opening venues for children's voices to be heard (Day 39)*

by Rey Laguda

(This is the  39th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)

One of the most precious gifts we could give to children is the venue where their voices and thoughts could be heard; a place where they are encouraged to value and practice freedom of speech in the pursuit of truth, justice and fairness. Putting a premium on the youth's right to self-expression and freedom of speech, the State provides Filipino children with such opportunity through RA 7079, or the Campus Journalism Act of 1991.

Pursuant to this, DepEd continues to conduct the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) every year. This is an event where student journalists from elementary and secondary schools come together to showcase their skills in different facets of journalism. The NSPC aims to promote social consciousness, critical thinking, and responsible journalism among students.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Day We Reached One Million



The Day We Reached One Million (Day 38)


Jun 17 will turn out to be one of my most memorable days in DepEd. At 11:17 am yesterday, our Learner Information System (LIS) registered a million Gr 11 students as enrolled by private and public schools including SUC/LUCs.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Inter-Agency Synergy for Resilience



Inter-Agency Synergy for Resilience (Day 37)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the  37th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner

Yesterday, I attended the last meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council under this current administration. In the last several years, I witnessed how government agencies worked together towards common goals and objectives. I salute the leadership of Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Usec Alexander Pama for their unwavering commitment to the nation.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Expanding Horizons: Through JENESYS 2.0 and Beyond



Expanding Horizons: Through JENESYS 2.0 and Beyond (Day 36)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the  36th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner

The Department of Education has numerous long-standing partnerships with institutions from across the globe to help us realize our education outcomes and in particular, to provide more opportunities for our learners. One of these partnerships has resulted in the program called JENESYS 2.0 Program, or the “Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths.” It is a revitalized youth exchange program that aims not only to spread understanding of Japanese culture and values but also to strengthen the basis of diplomatic relations between Japan and respective Asian and Oceanian countries and lay foundations for the future bond among the youth of said countries through mutual understanding and friendship. JENESYS is an initiative of the Japanese government, under the wing of the Japanese International Cooperation Center (JICE) which has been involved in various international cooperation activities mainly for developing countries since its establishment in 1977, and provides the funds necessary for implementation of the project.

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