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  • Nov 29 2007

    DepEd lauds public school whiz kid of Jakarta math, science olympiad

    A grade six pupil from Pagadian City Pilot School won in the Science Division of the 4th International Math and Science Olympiad (IMSO) held in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus commends Angelique Joy Virata, or April, for winning a bronze medal in the Science division of the competition against pupils from other countries.

    She competed against students from the host country, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, China (Taiwan), Malaysia, Brunei, and Sri Lanka.

    April also won a merit award in the International Math Competition (IMC) held in Singapore last August 16 to 21, 2007.  Her most recent achievement is being among the top finalists in the National Quiz Bee held in Tagaytay City earlier this month.

    “April made us proud,” Lapus said. “She proves, not once but twice, that our students can be at par with the best of Asia,” he added.

    Known as a gifted student, April has represented her school in numerous contests since third grade.  Out of 297 students in her batch, she is also a potential valedictorian and plans to study in Philippine Science High School for her secondary education.

    “This significant achievement further inspires us in the department to work harder to improve the performance of our students,” Lapus stressed.

    The Zamboanga-based Mathematics Trainers Guild, Philippines and some DepEd officials supported the Philippine delegation.

    IMSO is an international Mathematics and Science competition for elementary pupils. It was held in Hotel Nikko, Jakarta, Indonesia last November 12 to 17, 2007.

    “She attests to what perseverance can achieve, and we at the department are working hard to ensure that doors are opened to these children who carry so much potential,” Lapus said.

     

     

  • Nov 29 2007

    DepEd to turn-over new classrooms cum evacuation centers in Bicol

    The Department of Education is set to turn-over school buildings in the Bicol region including some intended to double as evacuation centers in times of calamity, even as reports of damages to schoolbuildings caused by typhoon in a in the Cordillera and Region 2 have hit the P200 million mark.

    Funded under DepEd’s Bicol Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Efforts (BCARE) in the aftermath of super typhoons Milenyo and Reming, a total of 545 new classrooms are expected to benefit some 50,000 students and teachers. Moreover, a total of 6,039 classrooms have already been repaired and are ready for use.

    Under the BCARE, DepEd has allotted some P1.2 billion for the construction of new classrooms and repair of damaged ones in Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

    In a recent report to the Cabinet, Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said the department is right on track on its target at 98% completion rate. “BCARE is solely dedicated for the rehabilitation of the Bicol region and we made sure that we have new buildings which can also be used for evacuation especially in typhoon-prone areas like Bicol,” Lapus said.

    Meanwhile, Secretary Lapus ordered the immediate field assessment of damaged school buildings and lost textbooks in Northern Luzon that suffered the onslaught of Typhoon Mina. DepEd reported that based on initial reports, the Cordillera Administrative Region sustained some P102 million damages on school buildings followed by Region 2 which reported damages of P101.4 million. “We will request for similar CARE funding for them so that repairs can be undertaken immediately,” he said.

    In the Bicol Region, typhoon Mina caused the evacuation of some 10,944 families or 51, 674 individuals, using as temporary evacuation centers school buildings in the area.

    In Legazpi City, DepEd has completed the construction of an all- concrete building which was designed to withstand earthquake and typhoon. The classroom cum evacuation center has comfort rooms, water supply and kitchen. Its ceiling is reinforced with 20-millimeter steel bars.

    “The sturdy school building are elevated from the ground by a meter and can accommodate two classes during regular days and at least 60 people when used as evacuation center,” Lapus added.

    Some 15 more new hazard-resistant building are currently under construction in the Bicol region. Lapus reported that the United Nations Children’s Fund will fund 12 more of these hazard-resistant buildings in Bicol.

    In the province of Albay, Ligao City has the biggest number of new classrooms at 301, followed by 71 in Tabaco City and 56 in Legazpi City. In Camarines Sur, Iriga City has 64 new classrooms while Naga City has 71. Hit hard by the succession of typhoons last year, Sorsogon will have 89 new classrooms after the turn-over in December.

    Of the 6,039 repaired buildings, 2,579 are in Albay, 1,620 in Camarines Sur, 204 in Camarines Norte, 358 in Masbate and 936 in Sorsogon and 342 in Catanduanes.

     

     

  • Nov 29 2007

    DepEd, GK build homes for teachers

    The Department of Education (DepEd) partners with Gawad Kalinga (GK), Pagibig Fund and Local Government Units (LGU) in laying the groundwork for an affordable housing program for public school teachers.

    Pioneering local government unit partners in the program are Mayors Sony Coscolluella of Murcia and Jose Lacson of San Carlos City in Negros Occidental who have provided sites for this project which will enable public school teachers and DepEd employees to acquire houses of their own.

    Mayors Recom Echiverri of Caloocan City and Celso Lobregat of Zamboanga City have also committed to support the project. Iriga City is another site for the pilot implementation of the project.

    Aside from public school teachers, rank and file personnel of the Department of Education are also expected to benefit from this project. “It is an irony that teachers who perform a noble role in our society are still included among those who do not own their own homes,” Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said.

    In 1999, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Innovation in Technology and Education (SEAMEO-INNOTECH) came out with a survey showing 22% of the more than 400,000 teachers at that time do not have their own house. This translates to more than 90,000 teachers who either rent a place or stay with relatives.

    Under the partnership, LGUs will apply for a loan from Pag-ibig Fund’s Special Loan Facility and use its internal revenue allotment (IRA) as collateral. The LGUs will also identify and commit at least 5 hectares of land for the community site. Construction in Murcia and San Carlos City is set to start early next year.

    For its part, Pag-ibig Fund, through its executive director, Mr. Luis Oquinena, allotted P20 million for each of these sites.

    One hectare of the 5 hectare land will serve as academic, recreation and productivity areas. Under GKs SIBOL or “to grow” program, it will build a preschool to be run by DepEd to cater to the children of the beneficiaries. Partner organizations will build a multipurpose hall and playgrounds or basketball courts for the sports and creative component of SIBOL.

    To be built on a 150 square meter lot, a typical house will have 46 sqm floor area with high ceiling and a 26 sq m loft. House to be turned over will have finished walls, and tiled kitchen and toilet. Roads and drainage will be part of the construction with the support of the LGU who will also maintain them.

    Future home owners are expected to take active roles in the construction of their houses as well as that of their neighbors. Designs for the houses will be provided by DepEd. A monthly amortization of only P1,300.00 per month for 25 years will be paid by the recipients of the houses through the Automated Salary Deduction System of DepEd.

    “Our teachers are assured of the most affordable cost and payment terms under the program,” Secretary Lapus said.

    Priority will be given to married personnel occupying permanent DepEd items, had rendered at least 10 years of service, and not more than 50 years old. Employees who are already owners or co-owners of residential units or have previously availed of housing loans from GSIS or Pag-ibig as principal or coborrower are not qualified to benefit from the project.

    Qualified recipient are required to be committed members of the GK Kapitbahayan where they will be asked to invest “sweat equity” under the TATAG community development program.

    Considering the big number of homes required for qualified DepEd personnel, the department has also tapped Habitat for Humanity which is also famous for its similar housing technology, viable partnership formulas and affordable schemes.

     

     

  • Nov 28 2007

    DepEd’s Adopt-A-School Program honors stakeholders

    Today, the Department of Education’s Adopt-A-School Program honors its partners who have contributed in improving the state of Philippine Education through its annual Stakeholders’ Night at the Diosdado Macapagal Hall, Landbank Plaza.

    In his message, Sec Lapus thanked all those who have contributed to improve the public schools, “The partnerships that we have formed through the years are indeed valuable to us in the Department. You have provided our public schools more than resources. Your interventions have indeed made a difference in the learning outcomes of our pupils”

    Problems in infrastructure, increasing drop-out rates, poor health and nutrition, poverty and the decreasing over-all quality of education in the country has compelled the private sector to invest in education. For this reason, the Adopt-A-School Program of DepEd was created. RA 8525: The Adopt-ASchool Act of 1998, allows private entities to assist all public schools in the country and in return, can avail of 150% tax incentives, promote goodwill in its community and strengthen its corporate image.

    From 2000 to 2006, the Adopt-A-School program has generated 2.1 billion pesos worth of support from the private sector. Last September 2006, ASP was re-launched by Education Secretary Jesli Lapus and to date, it has generated about 4.5 Billion pesos worth of interventions, donations and pledges.

    Support for education came in various forms and packages. For infrastructure and physical facilities, over 100 Million pesos worth was received. 100 million pesos was received for all learning support and direct assistance to the schools. For teacher training and development 90 Million, 700 million for donor-driven and combined packages. The two largest area where most donations were poured in were Technology Support to Education and Health and Nutrition with 1.2 Billion and 2.3 Billion respectively.

    As the night came to a conclusion, the Adopt-A-School Program’s new campaign was launched. Supported by Ms. Yeng Constantino with her hit song, Hawak Kamay, the Adopt-A-School’s new campaignseeks to encourage strengthened support from all stakeholders in education through various needsbased and sustainable interventions – harnessing technology, providing electric and water facilities to schools, enhancing health and nutrition and teacher development programs and supporting relevant education - that will eventually improve the schools, increase learning outcomes of the pupils and therefore, improve the quality of life of the generations to come.

     

     

  • Nov 28 2007

    Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between DepEd and Gawad Kalinga

    MEDIA ADVISORY

     

    WHAT : Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between DepEd and Gawad Kalinga on Housing Program for Teachers/ Personnel and Accreditation of Gawad Kalinga Preschools
    WHEN : November 28, 2007
    TIME : 9:30 AM
    WHERE : Bulwagan ng Karunungan G/F Rizal Building 1, DepEd Complex, Pasig Cty
    SPEAKERS

    Secretary Jesli Lapus
    Undersecretary  for Finance and Administration Teodosio Sangil
    Assistant Secretary for Programs and Projects Teresita Inciong
    Chairman Jonathan Malaya, Task Force on Teachers and Personnel Housing
    CEO Federico Romero Quimbo, PAG-IBIG Fund
    Executive Director Jose Luis Oquinena, Gawad Kalinga
    Head of Operations Jose Mari Oquinena, Gawad Kalinga
    Mr. Antonio Meloto, Gawad Kalinga Worker
    Vice President Florentino Espana, PAG-IBIG Fund
    Mayor Esteban Conscolluela, Negros Occidental Schools
    Division Superintendent Eva Belisina, Negros Occidental
    Schools Division Superintendent Gemma Ledesma, Sn Carlos City

     

    The Department of Education partners with Gawad Kalinga, Pag-ibig Fund and Local Government Units in  laying the groundwork for the public school teachers to finally acquire a house they can call their own.

     

     

  • Nov 15 2007

    DepEd strengthens ARMM / Mindanao interventions

    The Department of Education is intensifying efforts to improve access to quality education and open livelihood opportunities for children and out-of-school youth in Mindanao particularly in the ARMM provinces in partnership with foreign governments and the private sector.

    With support from the USAID’s Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQUALLS), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and other foreign and local agencies, DepEd is steadily mobilizing support for education and livelihood programs in Mindanao.

    Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus, together with USAID Philippines Director Jon Lindborg recently visited Mindanao schools to see first hand the impact of the education interventions in Mindanao in partnership with USAID EQUALLS.

    Lapus and Lindborg engaged students, teachers and administrators in discussions on strengthening peace in their communities through use of an EQUALLS –provided 10-part video production series on peace entitled Salam. “There is an urgent need for a stronger public-private sector alliance to meet the education needs of Mindanao especially in the ARMM. A framework to pool various initiatives into one program assures efficiency and effectiveness,” Lapus said.

    The EQUALLS-supported alternative basic education and livelihood skills programs provided youths who have dropped out of school with an opportunity to re-enter the formal education system or receive livelihood training and work experience. EQUALLS support program for out-of-school children and youth (OSCY) is the largest in the country with a target of 100,000 OSCY.

    In partnership with DepEd and DepEd ARMM, EQUALLS has helped improve the quality of education of some 480,000 public elementary students in Mindanao, trained nearly 10,000 educators in teaching of English, Science and Math and provided almost 2 million books in Mindanao schools.

    Part of the program includes the improvement of training for teachers, development of training materials and in mobilizing school level support by providing managerial and leadership training to school principals.

    Another intervention program adopted was the Text to Teach (T2T) project of the Ayala Foundation and Nokia which aimed to improve the teaching of English, Mathematics and Science among Grades 5 and 6 pupils in 13 selected public schools and one private school in Cotabato City.

    As proof of improving student performance, the division of Cotabato City topped the examination given by the T2T program for three school divisions. Cotabato City was also ranked 3rd in the recent Regional Achievement Test both in elementary and secondary.

     

     

  • Nov 15 2007

    DepEd Focus on Schools with Low Mastery Scores

    The Department of Education has ranged a host of intervention programs to upgrade English instruction in elementary and high school with special focus on schools which registered in the low mastery level in the 2007 National Achievement Test.

    President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has instructed DepEd to zero in on schools which tested low in mastery in the 2007 NAT. A student is considered in the low mastery level if the mean percentage score (MPS) is between 15 to 34 in the 100-item test per subject.

    Earlier during the DepEd presentation in Malacanang before the members of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus outlined its programs that were designed to upgrade English instruction. This include the training of teachers to teach English which as of October 2007 totals 137,420 teachers nationwide.

    The NAT, which measures what the students in Grade 3 and second year high school know, understand and can do, covers Mathematics, English, Science, Filipino and HEKASI.

    The 2006 results for elementary students showed an MPS in English of 60.78 percent, a big jump from the 54.05 in 2005 -2006. For high school students, 2006 NAT results recorded an MPS of 51.81 percent, up from 51.20 percent in 2005 - 2006.

    The NAT result in English for Grade 3 students was an MPS of 59.56 percent, a 10 percent improvement over 49.98 percent in previous year. “Despite the improving NAT results in English among our elementary students, we believe that we have to make an extra push to sustain their improving performance,“ Lapus said. “Our bigger goal is to upgrade English instruction among those schools which performed below mastery level,” he added.

    Some 265 high schools which performed badly or those whose MPS ranged between 15-34 are the focus of intervention with the hope of achieving average mastery to moving towards mastery by 2008.

    In the elementary division, DepEd is eyeing to upgrade the performance of 1,899 schools which are also at low mastery levels and achieve average mastery in the 2008 NAT.

    Lapus stressed that English proficiency is critical in learning as other key subjects such as Science and Mathematics use English in explaining concepts. Deped implements a more focused school governance with 43,000 school improvement plans (SIP) and 187 division education development plans with well-defined targets on learning outcomes. This is in compliance with the directive of President Arroyo for a 30% improvement in baseline data in English, Science and Mathematics by 2010.

    Meanwhile, DepEd continues implementing ECARP or Every Child a Reader Program which aims to make children from Grades 1 to 6 able to read as expected at their own level. DepEd has likewise directed schools to beef up school libraries and implement different reading strategies to instill love for reading at an early age.

    DepEd will also continue to hold the national Read-a-Thon contest which gives cash prize to students who emerged Best in Story Telling, Best in Oral Interpretation, Best in Vocabulary, Best Team Readers and Best School in Reading. Likewise, DepEd gives awards to Outstanding Reading Teachers who emerged after a thorough nationwide search. Special awards were also given to outstanding reading teachers in the 13 regions.

    Moreover, master teachers and department heads demonstrate effective English teaching methods to other teachers thereby upgrading the teaching capabilities of participants.

    DepEd records show that as of October 2007, some 137,420 elementary and secondary teachers have received training relevant to English instruction in different modes: live-in workshops and conferences facilitated by English specialists; school-based training with mentoring and coaching; and trainings conducted in coordination with teacher-training institutions.

    DepEd’s Bureau of Elementary Education is currently developing Lesson Guides in English for Grade I to Grade 6 in collaboration with the Ateneo de Manila University which is ready for use by teachers in the coming schoolyear. Relative to this, the Bureau of Secondary Education addresses the training eeds of 18, 892 English teachers where 16,625 are English majors while 2, 267 are non-majors. These teachers were provided training on mastery reading and writing and current reading pedagogy. The bureau is also preparing video lessons for first year high school for distribution next school year.

    The DepEd’s National English Proficiency Program (NEPP) resulted to the intensive and hands-on training of some 7,300 teachers on English proficiency. In turn, the teachers echoed what they learned to a total of 95,600 teachers in their schools under the Teachers Mentoring Teachers program.

    Part of DepEd’s initiative to improve English instruction is to ink partnership with local and international stakeholders. Very significant contributions in raising the level of achievement in English in Mindanao area were made with USAID-Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQUALLS).

    AUSAID Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM). Various private sector interventions under DepEd’s Adopt-a-School Program have yielded positive outcomes.

    ABS-CBN’s Knowledge Channel has helped post an 8% increase in the achievement level of student- beneficiaries while Text2teach with the Ayala Foundation and Nokia resulted in a 5% increase in the achievement level in English and Science of school beneficiaries.

    Other similar initiatives include the establishment of Library Hubs which are already in place in 35 divisions. The local government units provide the building to house the books while DepEd purchases the reading materials and furniture. Private businesses also do their share such as the Bright Minds Read program of the Ronald McDonald House of Charity being implemented in 977 schools and benefited 9,360 Grade 1 pupils. The Summer Institute of Linguistics also chip in through its Reading Books for Indigenous Pupils which is now available in 7 divisions.

     

     

  • Nov 15 2007

    Lapus orders immediate reconstruction of burned down schoolbuilding in Nueva Ecija

    Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus takes a direct hand in replacing the burned down 6- classroom school building of Tanauan Elementary School in Nueva Ecija   by ordering the immediate release of funds and directing the completion of project by March 2008.

    The schoolbuilding was gutted by fire during the October 29 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. According to DepEd's engineering office, the fire of unknown origin has completely destroyed the building. DepEd has urged the Philippine National Police to look into the matter and bring to court those who will be found liable.

    Meanwhile, Lapus announced the completion of a new schoolbuilding in Taysan, Batangas which will replace the burned down Pinagbayanan Elementary School in an election-related case of arson during the May 2007 national elections.

    "The six-classroom building with a library and a principal's office will be named Nellie Banaag Elementary School in honor of our teacher who died in the line of duty," Lapus said.

    The Department of Education (DepEd) continues to pump in more funds to improve basic education with allocations running to over P 24 billion spread from 2006 to 2008.

    "Of the P24.2 billion DepEd resource expenditure programmed in the years mentioned, classroom construction and repairs received the biggest chunk with P14.2 billion," said Education Undersecretary Ramon Bacani.

    Of this amount, P3 billion were disbursed in 2006 which went to construct more than 6,000 classrooms. The amount was increased to P5.4 billion this year for the construction of 6,132 classrooms and the repair of some 12,400 classrooms. DepEd earmarks P5.8 billion for 2008 for additional 10,472 classrooms.

    The school system saw the construction of a total of 14,887 classrooms in 2006 with the help of the private sector and other government institutions under various school building programs. 

    These programs include the Regular School Building Program of DepEd and the Department of Public Works and Highways; Priority Development Assistance Fund of Legislators, Local Government Unit projects, Foreign –assisted School Building Programs; Classrooms Galing sa Mamamayang Pilipino Abroad; Department of Trade & Industry- National Development Corporation Lending Program for Local Government Units, Adopt-a-School Program and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. School Building Program.

    Aside from Government Appropriations Act funds, DepEd has successfully sourced funds from loans and grants from bilateral, multilateral donor agencies as well as foreign governments which go directly to infrastructure development, schoolbuildings, teacher training and textbook acquisition.

    These include Australian Agency for International Development worth P204 million for DepEd automation and information system as well as another P34 million for teachers' training. This year, the Australian support for the Philippine basic education sector hit an unprecedented level of more than A$170 million grant for 2007 until 2011.

    On the other hand, the Government of Spain made available P247.8 million for the construction and repair of   classrooms and training of teachers   even as UNICEF provided some P7 million for hazard-resistant classrooms. For its part the Netherlands government through UNICEF has allocated about P55.8 million for the construction of schoolbuildings and repair of classrooms.

    In 2006, DepEd completed the Third Elementary Education Project worth P11 billion most of which went to classroom construction. Currently, DepEd is implementing the Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project worth P6.8 billion funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation which likewise went to construct classrooms, teachers training, textbook acquisition, among others covering the country's 19 poorest provinces.

     

     

  • Nov 09 2007

    DepEd says COMELEC has released teachers' allowances for poll duties

    The Department of Education (DepEd) announced that the P1,000 allowance of public school teachers who served as election tellers during the 2007 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections have already been released by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to the municipal treasurers concerned.

    DepEd has mobilized some 400,000 teachers during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan held last October 29, 2007.

    Teachers who manned the SK precincts are entitled to an additional P500. All teaches who manned the polls will also receive another P500 as transportation allowance to be released this week. The allowance of P1,000 per teacher and payment for manning the SK polls have already been released to the teachers through the municipal treasurers from Regions 1 to 8.   Those in regions 9 to 12, CARAGA, and ARMM will receive their allowances this week.

    DepEd has been constantly coordinating with COMELEC and the municipal treasurers to facilitate the payment for teachers who performed poll duties. The municipal treasurers who are under the supervision of the Department of Finance are responsible for the release of the COMELEC-mandated allowances.

    Deputized as members of the Board of Election Tellers (BET), the school teachers are exposed to high risks as they are involved in the whole election process – from the registration of voters to the actual counting of votes. DepEd election duty is supervised by the Commission on Elections and secured by the Philippine National Police.

    DepEd wants all payments for election-related duty expedited as soon as possible. "However, it will take some time to get the complete information since we have 42,000 schools throughout the country with about 250,000 election precincts," explained DepEd election task force co-chair and Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Franklin Sunga.

     

     

  • Nov 08 2007

    Teachers facing election charges assured legal assistance

    The Department of Education (DepEd) said today the department has always been ready to provide legal assistance to the 13 school teachers in Navotas City against whom criminal and administrative charges were filed resulting from the performance of their duties during the May 2007 elections.

    Lawyer Franklin Sunga, DepEd Undersecretary for Legal Affairs, said:  "We are always ready and willing to give the needed legal assistance."

    DepEd has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines wherein the IBP can handle cases for our teachers.  "Our DepEd legal consultants can also appear in court in behalf of our school teachers," Sunga added.

    The DepEd gave the assurance in the face of accusations filed by a former solon from Navotas who alleged that the school teachers participated in widespread cheating during the May 14 elections. The teachers were also accused of allowing residents to vote twice and that the solon's poll watchers were not allowed to get inside the polling precincts.

    "Based on the charges, we will ask our regional director concerned to make recommendation. We will also determine the veracity of the accusations for us to make the proper action," Sunga explained.

    "So far, we have not received any request for legal assistance from the accused teachers although we have already asked the regional head concerned to look into the matter," Sunga stressed.

     

     

  • Nov 02 2007

    DepEd lauds public high school whiz kids' winning inventions

    "These geniuses have truly made us proud," Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus said as he commends elementary and high school students whose inventions are now on exhibit at the Innovation Area of the Intellectual Property Rights Office.

    "They have shown that talent and hard work can only result in success. More that admiration, they deserve recognition for the efforts they have put into their craft," Lapus added.

    The Robotics Team of Tibagan Elementary School in Makati City comprises Joshua Cortel, Rogen Amen, Albert Ruelan, Joseph Pascua, Paolo Villaflor, John Jeff Bores, and Julius Cesar Kalahati. Cortel and Amen conceptualized two robots - Robo Rally and Robo Sumo. The former is truck-like vehicle that can hurdle obstacle courses and the latter was designed to resemble a sumo wrestler.

    These grade five students, together with their team mates, started the project just last month. These are among the several entries submitted by public high school students during the Robo Fiesta last August, sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The contest was open to students from both public and private schools. 

    Three other students from Fort Bonifacio High School in Taguig City – Aljun Monje, Ryan Christian Quintos, and Kenneth Detablan – created the archer robot Jumong-bot, named after a Koreanovela protagonist.

    "This is proof that the performance of our public school students can be at par with those from private schools," Lapus asserted. "To boost students' skills in science and technology, the department even proposed to congress an additional allocation of P500,000 for every science high school," Lapus added.