March 25, 2023

Mayor Benjamin Magalong met with city officials, school board members, barangay leaders, parents, school heads and teachers, non-government organizations, different agencies, civil society organizations, business and private groups during the first educational summit with a workshop on Jan. 20.
The summit with the theme “Building an education community” tackled the status of the city’s learners and steps to improve their reading scores.
The workshop, as synthesized by University of the Philippines chancellor Corazon Abansi, showed there is a need for trained government and private school teachers, basic books for basic learners, good reading/learning areas, good relationships and coordination between parents and teachers as growing medium for the pupils and students, that they may be developed physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and psychologically.
Right values should also be taught, Abansi said.
“It really takes a community to raise a child and we cannot fail if we work on our targets. Our pupils should turn out to be independent, responsive and productive citizens, with parents and teachers’ guidance,” she said.
Data presented during the workshop show there was a decline in the number of enrolled pupils and students in private schools and alternative learning system (ALS), while the number was maintained in the Special and Madrasah education from 2018 to 2022.
Facilities remain adequate while students with computers and Internet connection is at 39.15 percent; 12.90 percent has computers without internet connection, and the rest have no computer and no internet connection.
The reading status in Filipino for those in grades 3 to 7 in 2021 to 2022 shows a low reading score, as with the reading status in English for grades 4 to 7 in 2021 to 2022, based on being a non-reader or reader frustration; the words are pronounced, heard and spoken but not understood; instructional reader, could read and understand but needs guidance; and an independent reader.
Schools Division Superintendent Federico Martin said teachers trained in special education have been hired for Baguio schools but there is also a need for pre-school teacher specialists.
A factor for an education community is the presence of safe public spaces, the Baguio City Police Office representative offered, adding tutorial lessons for children in conflict with the law (CICL) and persons deprived of liberty may continue learning through the ALS in partnership with other entities and volunteers.
Martin said education should be accessible and provided for through a supportive community and responsible government.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong elaborated on starting early leadership trainings and acquainting the youth with the responsibilities so they may actively participate, react, speak with bright ideas, work together, and commit to being productive citizens.
He said education needs to be their unshakable foundation, even with challenges such as poverty, cultural differences, or lack of infrastructure.
Data show one-thirds of nine to 12 year olds are illiterate, thus the need to address their basic education more, Magalong said.
The education summit was held in coordination with Synergeia Foundation. – Julie G. Fianza