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Thursday, July 3, 2008

They Made the Difference

Two thumbs up for this local community in Pangasinan!!!

I came accross this article in the Phil. Daily Inquirer, and I believe I need to repost this one to as many sites possible so people who can read this will be encouraged as to how these local folks in Pangasinan made the difference and did a worthwhile project for the community.

Alaminos folk pool resources to raise ‘bright kids’
By Yolanda Sotelo-Fuertes

ALAMINOS CITY – It is said that it takes a community to raise a child. In the western Pangasinan city of Alaminos, the community, local government and the Department of Education have been pooling their resources to raise “bright children.”

The city launched the “Bright Child” program three years ago after local educators found out that the performance of the city’s elementary and high school students in the National Achievement Test (NAT) was, to say the least, dismal.

The scenario then: Students performed poorly in Mathematics, English and Science in the NAT; workbooks and reference materials in local schools were inadequate; there was lack of specialized instructional rooms; and the high dropout rate was a problem.There was also a high malnutrition rate among pre-school and elementary students, shortage of day care centers, lack of sports facilities and lack of in-depth knowledge on the city’s history and culture.

Renato Viray, city schools superintendent, says that in the 2004 Grade 6 NAT, the division placed last among 13 divisions in the Ilocos region and 185th among 188 divisions in the country. The dropout rate for both elementary and high schools was also high, he says.

“There was a big need for interventions for the children’s performance to improve,” Alaminos Mayor Hernani Braganza says.

This situation moved the community to implement the Bright Child program to address the needs of the children and to develop their potentials by providing them comfortable and quality education and better health and nutrition.

Braganza says DepEd on its own cannot develop a “bright child.”

“The support of the entire community, the local government and the parents will determine the future of a child,” he says.

Three years later, the joint efforts have started to show results.

During a recent education summit in the city, Viray reported that the division was “making strides in improving the achievement level of pupils.”

In the 2007 NAT, the division ranked 6th and 8th in the elementary and secondary levels, respectively, in the Ilocos region.

When most of the people have been cursing and showing off their grievances against the government, these people made the big difference.

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