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GSIS-DepEd-Metrobank Alternative National Seminar Conference

In celebration of the National Teachers’ Month, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), in coordination with the Metrobank Foundation and the Department of Education (DepEd), organizes a three-day national conference for public school teachers with the theme “Valuing Our Teachers and Pupils through Inclusion, Approaches and Appreciation: An Alternative National Seminar Conference for SpEd Teachers”. It was held last 26-28 September 2019 at the GSIS Theater, GSIS Headquarters, Pasay City.

“As long as we live, let inspire before we expire” stated Mr. Romeo B. Parayno, Head – Special Events Unit, DepEd as an introduction and invitation to World Teachers’ Day celebration. After the opening ceremonies, the first-ever Filipino documentary film was played to recognize the sacrifices and honor the untold heroism of our World War II Ayta Warriors and Veterans entitled “Mga Bayaning Ayta (Ayta Heroes)” by Donnie Sacueza.

Professor Maria Hazelle Preclaro-Ongtengco discussed about the unveiling a hidden disability to move closer towards equity in literacy. Her presentation will signify the equity in literacy and resolve the struggles experienced in literacy.

“Every child matters. No child left behind. Sometimes, as teachers, we feel that yang ginagawa ko, does it matter? Yes, all of you matters. All your sacrifice, all your care and your commitment matters even though it’s only one child”, stated Ms. Annette Lee-Esparaz. She showed the important role in a blind person’s ability to understand and take in information with the access of the experiential 3Dimensional. She encouraged all the participants, especially visually impaired to visit all suggested museums in the Philippines that will part of the educational program. In this advocacy, the visually impaired visitors will testify to their interaction and learnings by giving them the opportunity to experience the life enhancing power of art. Likewise, Ms. Marie Joyce Lopez, a totally blind person, a Radio Program Co-Host at RBI’s (Resource for the Blind, Inc.) radio program aired over 702 DZAS and a tutor at RBI, shared her success stories despite her situation. Also testify when she visits the museum. “We see through our fingertips.”, heartened all the teachers by giving them the opportunity to learn by touching the real objects. “Just tell us the theory sa aming mga visually impared, but for sure sinabi mo ngayon pero bukas makalawa we will no longer remember those theories… But involve us or give us the access of those visual information, I will surely understand” as she ended her talked.

“Inclusive education is bigger than K-12” reiterated Ms. Amcy Esteban as she tackled about inclusive education in the Philippines. She emphasized the importance of inclusive education by providing information and guiding educators and administrators on how to make inclusion work as she presents the Policy Framework DepEd Order 72 s. 2009 and recently the DepEd Order 21 s. 2019. The research of Ms. Fluellen Ann A, Cabaron, Mr. Ydroi C. Dolorosa and Ms. Lea Galvez from DepEd Manila, yield the data from the regular teachers about the readiness on inclusion and address the needs in handling learners with special educational needs (LSENs) in the regular class appropriately. As a result, it can serve as a reference to create policy guidelines that will make inclusive education a reality.

“Di po ako maglelecture kundi magbibigay po ako ng personal experience as well as your experience, too. Because you’ve been bombarded with so much lectures and kailangan po natin ngayon mag-unwind at mag-rest”, emphasized by Dr. Rose Vergara. SpEd educator’s inner self is very important to help to identify their inner challenges and obstacles to be able to overcome and nurture positive relationships with others.

“Ang palagi kong sinasabi when a person’s thinking of suicide, the thought is always, I have reasons to die and many times they forget, but they do reasons to live”, stated Dr. Dinah Palmera P. Nadera, Resident Psychiatrist at University of the Philippines, mentioned about suicide first aid guidelines in general but highlighted a few issues that may encounter dealing with persons with difficulties or disabilities. Suicide prevention is a difficult endeavor, but it has to be developed and tailored according to the needs of the people knowing the meaning of life and the reasons to live

Ms. Eva Marie Salvador presented the art therapy to help the participants understand art as a medium of resilience. Additionally, Ms. Czarina Cruel and Ms. Pilar Dannug discussed about music therapy as an intervention that may help learners with special educational needs.

In closing, raffle draw was also done for teachers. All the participants are very grateful to the organizers, resource speakers and facilitators in this relevant three-day national conference for sharing their expertise.

Article written by:

Joanne L. Gella - SPED Teacher I (Pinaglabanan ES)

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