By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) will conduct the second phase of training that aims to improve the quality of teaching for students with special educational (SPED) needs.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones issued a memorandum informing all undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, bureau and service directors, schools division superintendents, and public secondary school heads to conduct the second phase of the Institution-Based Summer Training Program for Secondary School Teachers.
The training program, DepEd said, is in support of its “thrust on improving the education of learners with special educational needs.”
The program will be conducted at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Laoag City for the Luzon cluster and the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) in Davao City for the Visayas-Mindanao cluster starting May to June 1, 2019. The exact date of the start of the program in each cluster is yet to be announced, DepEd said.
“The program aims to provide general education teachers with the knowledge and skills on different pedagogies, assessment and intervention, accommodation in teaching and instructional planning for learners with special educational needs,” Briones said in the DepEd memorandum.
DepEd clarified that this is the second phase of the scholarship program, and the grantees “shall be the same people who were recipients of the scholarship program last summer 2018.” DepEd noted that “no substitution nor replacement is allowed in case a scholar or grantee is not available.”
A total of 135 teachers will participate in this year’s training. For the Luzon cluster, there are 63 scholars and 72 in the Visayas-Mindanao cluster. The scholars are divided on groups based on special educational needs of learners: emotional-behavioral disorder, autism spectrum disorder, visual impairment, and hearing impairment.
DepEd, through the Bureau of Learning Delivery-Student Inclusion Division (BLD-SID), said the program is under the Human Resource Training and Development (HRTD) funds.
Data from DepEd showed that for 2016-2017, the total enrolment in Special Education (SPED) Program under DepEd is 238, 576.
DepEd data also showed that there are only 678 schools in 258 divisions that offer the SPED program.
As of 2018, DepEd data cited that there are 2,601 SPED teachers in elementary and only 284 in the secondary.