The production team of DepEd TV, in partnership of Akyat Aral visited several schools in the provinces of Cordillera Administrative Region such as Benguet and Ifugao on November 29 to December 1, 2020 to gather and shoot stories of experiences as well as the adjustments and initiatives done by learners, parents and teachers to cope up to the challenges of the new normal education set-up.
DepEd TV, the educational television programming service block of the Department of Education with the assistance of the Presidential Communications Operations Office is a platform where episodes are aired in IBC- 13 from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, covering all grade levels via free TV IBC- 13, local cable television (CATV), digital black boxes and digital terrestrial TV (satellite).
According to Director Abram Abanil of the Information, Communications and Technology Service- DepEd Central Office, the said program of DepEd was conceptualized as a means to address and respond to the problems brought by the pandemic in the delivery of basic education services.
Presently it is producing 130 episodes per week with plans to increase it to 220 episodes per week in the following year to cover all subject areas. Akyat Aral, a non-government organization involved in charitable works and community outreach programs, the group also conducted gift- giving activities to the schools and communities visited.
The materials provided include first-aid kits, alcohol, face shields and face masks, school and office supplies including printers and inks, backpacks, slippers, vitamins and medicines and noche buena packages for the families in the communities.
These were turned over to eight beneficiary schools to be distributed later to the parents of their respective learners. First of the two teams of Akyat Aral and DepEd TV headed straight to Ifugao in Gohang National High School-Banaue, December 29, 2020 to bring our collected donations of school and office supplies, and Noche Buena packages to the chosen school and community with the intention of still celebrating Christmas: “Tuloy and Pasko sa Cordillera”.
On the same day, the second team headed straight to Baguio City, Benguet to be able to repack the school and office supplies as well as the food packages to be distributed to the different schools in Benguet such as Tawang Elementary School in La Trinidad, Jose Gonzales Elementary School and Yabyabuan Barrio School in Sablan, Tapsan Elementary School and Lab-ang Community School in Itogon, and Taloy Sur National Highschool in Tuba.
The successful conduct of the video shoots and gift-giving activities was realized following a series of coordination activities done with the division office through Mr. Jayson Manuel Osong of Cordillera Regional Science High School, the Benguet qualifier for the teacher broadcaster search of the DepEd and with DepEd CAR Regional Director Estela L. Cariño as well as Benguet OIC-Schools Division Superintendent Benilda Daytaca. The local government unit officials of the communities visited were also contacted by the group prior to the conduct of said activities.
They also underwent the proper health protocols prescribed by our local IATF such as SWAB testing and undergoing triage before proceeding to the identified communities and schools. Together with Director Abanil were the production head and one of the directors of DepEd TV, Ms. Margie Cabanayan- Natividad, Mr. Raymund Generoso respectively along with other members of its production crew. The Akyat Aral group was composed of the founder himself Mr. Albert Atienza and his fellow volunteers.
The Civil Military Operations Regiment (CMOR) of the Philippine Army under the command of Col. Arvin Lagamon and Maj. Genesis Gabrido, had provided mobility and manpower support in the conduct of the said activities. The Spirit of Christmas was felt amidst the pandemic as these good Samaritans had extended efforts in for the sake of community service and the mission of hope for our children which is the heart of Akyat Aral.
By Mayclaire A. Jimenez