DepEd Dasmarinas: Nurturing children with special needs

November 28, 2017

Anchored on the Department of Education’s (DepEd) thrust to make quality education accessible to all learners, the Schools Division of Dasmariñas City in Cavite places Special Education (SPED) high on their priorities.
DepEd–Dasmariñas believes that each child is unique and special, and therefore has the right to be nurtured in a conducive learning environment. With an enrollment of around 649 children with special needs (CSNs), and only six accredited SPED centers and three secondary schools offering the program, the Schools Division Office decided to strengthen the governance of SPED in their city through Project MULAP (Masiglang Uganayan ng Lahat: Akses ng mga Batang may Pangangailangan).
Aimed at increasing the participation rate of CSNs and ensuring the effective implementation of SPED program in the Division, Project MULAP consists of various activities spearheaded by the Schools Division Superintendent, the School Governance and Operations Division and Curriculum Implementation Division, SPED supervisor, district supervisors of 10 cluster schools, school principals, and SPED and regular teachers.
Through collaboration with parents, the local government, religious organizations, and other stakeholders, the schools mobilize their personnel to earnestly map the community, find CSNs, and get them to enroll in their SPED centers.
Their Program K3 (Kaklase, Kasama Kita) ensures that equal learning opportunities for CSNs are being carried out. Curriculum for CSNs is enhanced in accordance with the requirements of the Universal Design for Learning. CSNs are also encouraged to participate in regular classroom and school activities including sports and scouting.
Guiding Coalitions are formed at the division and school levels to establish a core group that will oversee the fair and equitable implementation of the SPED and inclusive education programs in Dasmariñas City.
The Division does not also neglect the need to capacitate its SPED teachers through various training programs dubbed as “Angat Guro sa SPED.” A reward system is also put in place to recognize and further motivate SPED teachers to continue their hard work and renew their passion for teaching, caring for, and nurturing CSNs. The most outstanding SPED teacher is also given recognition during the Annual Gawad Sigasig (Sipag, Galing, at Sigla).
Their Inclusive Education Caravan, meanwhile, is a school-to-school advocacy which aims to forge partnerships and linkages with various stakeholders which are crucial in acquiring support and opportunities to bolster the program.
Despite the recurring challenges including limited resources, high enrolment, and lack of specialized teachers, DepEd Dasmariñas is intent to continuously implement its best practices, including Project MULAP, and therefore strengthen its SPED program, all for the benefit of the Filipino learners who deserve access to quality, relevant, and liberating basic education, regardless of their needs and capabilities.