February 9, 2022 – The Department of Education (DepEd) conducted the first-ever Online National Festival of Talents (NFOT) from January 24 to 28, 2022 to emphasize the positive impact of co-curricular activities on the well-being of learners amid the pandemic.

“Our learners need outlets through co-curricular or extra-curricular activities to ease their stress, tension, and anxieties brought by the health crisis. Co-curricular activities have been proven to bring positive impact on the health and well-being of our learners,” Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD) Director Leila Areola said.

Spearheaded by the BLD–Student Inclusion Division (SID), the annual talent and skill showcase of DepEd, being held physically before the pandemic, was virtually repackaged to make it more responsive and relevant to the current health situation.

The 2021 NFOT showcased talents in Technolympics (Technology and Livelihood Education and Technical-Vocational Education); Sining Tanghalan (Arts and Culture Education); National Population Development (Social Studies o Araling Panlipunan); Pambansang Tagisan ng Talento (Filipino); Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL); Musabaqah (ALIVE Program); Learners with Disabilities (LWDs) Showcase of Talents for SPED; and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics azonic innovations and gains (STEMazing) for STEM.

The 2021 NFOT featured regional submission of learners’ video performances, including cooking, songwriting, singing, and playing instruments, dancing, speech exhibitions, among others.

“Conducting the festival of talents creates opportunities for all types of learners, through the guidance of coaches from public and private elementary and secondary schools, including ALS, to persevere, adapt, hope, and bounce back and find a way to move forward,” Areola said.

“All co-curricular activities have been designed to divert their attention from the pandemic. The involvement in the said activities will help them become tougher and prevent mental health issues,” she added.

Meanwhile, Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones emphasized that the NFOT remains one of DepEd’s initiatives to promote the distinct culture of the country, especially to the youth.

“Let us savor the talents of our learners and encourage the competitive spirit while being united in our goals of promoting Philippine culture,” Secretary Briones noted.