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City officials encouraged the Department of Education–Cordillera Administrative Region (DepEd-CAR) to organize its special education (SPED) council to be composed of all those designated SPED focal persons in each public school in the city to further strengthen the institutionalization of SPED programs for basic education beneficial to children with special needs.
Under Resolution No. 426, series of 2021, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators stated that Baguio City, being the center of quality education in the north, needs to continuously upgrade and efficiently strengthen its educational approaches and strategies in order to substantially serve learners with special needs and that DepEd’s mandate in school improvement plan can strongly consider the inclusion of the organization of SPED council with the purpose and goal of assisting DepEd Division officials and focal office in collectively monitoring the implementing SPED-related programs in the city and assisting in the regular conduct of evaluation and assessment to determine the effectiveness of the program and may propose measures to further improve its implementation.
The council underscored it is the policy of the State to prioritise the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women and children.
Further, the State recognizes that disabled children or children with special needs have the right to special care, education and training to help them enjoy full and decent lives and dignity and achieve the greatest degree of self-reliance and social integration possible as provided for under the pertinent provisions of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The body disclosed that the education department’s inclusive basic education embraces the philosophy of accepting all children regardless of race, size, shape, color, ethnicity, ability or disability with support from school personnel, co-students, parents, the community and from other education stakeholders.
Moreover, inclusive education addresses the diverse needs of all learners by reducing barriers inside schools and learning institutions and it is a mechanism for strengthening the capacity of the education system to relentlessly reach out to all learners where the said educational approach provides all students greater opportunities for academic and social achievements.
According to the body, special education involves the preparation of teaching procedures and materials, and other interventions designed to address the needs of learners with learning differences, disabilities and giftedness and its objectives include the development, empowerment and maximization of learning competencies, as well as the inculcation of right values to learners with special needs, while equipping them and nurturing their potentials as preparatory in becoming productive members of the society.
The council emphasized that the designation of SPED focal persons in public schools will be subject to the presentation of the directive that there should be a focal person in every public school. By Dexter A. See