PASIG CITY, June 24, 2023 — The Department of Education (DepEd) underscored the agency’s directions and initiatives to strengthen learner socio-emotional support in the first episode of Research O’clock last Tuesday, June 13.

“All of these efforts are intended to help make our learners more resilient, make them understand their mental health needs, and hopefully make them advocates for socio-emotional well-being amongst themselves and champions of such advocacy within their schools and their community,” Assistant Secretary for Operations Dr. Dexter Galban said.

ASec. Galban noted the Department’s efforts in recognizing socio-emotional skills as an integral part of learning and recovery, such as the Career Guidance Program (CGP), National Drug Education Program (NDEP), Barkada Kontra Droga, Oplan Kalusugan (OK) sa DepEd, and Health Learning Institutions (HLI).

While focusing on learning recovery activities, Galban also revealed the endeavors of DepEd in reviving the After School Sports Program; leveraging the Parents-Teachers’ Association; expanding the Barkada Kontra Droga Plus initiative, Building and Strengthening new and existing partnerships, and the Mental Health Program for the holistic development of the learners.

Meanwhile, Dr. Helen Maasin, a researcher from El Salvador City, Region X (Northern Mindanao), shared her study on Project Digi-SEL or Digital Media as a Tool for Social Emotional Learning Opportunities which addresses the national result of the least mastered skills in Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP), namely, concern for others and information, media, and technology.

On the other hand, Dr. Ronnel King, an associate professor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, recommended creating socio-emotional learning (SEL) programs which include having explicit SEL instruction, SEL integrated with academic instruction, youth voice and engagement, supportive school, and classroom climates, and focus on adult SEL, among others.

The Research O’Clock 2023: Improving Basic Education Through Research will air six episodes in June, July, August, September, October, and November 2023.