June 4, 2023

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Department of Education-Cordillera held a symbolic sendoff ceremony for the volunteer-teachers or “para-teachers” from the different law enforcement agencies and other partnersfor the new learning modalities this school year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
DepEd-Cordillera Director May Eclar and Assistant Regional Director Florante Vergara turned over learning packets including a symbolic indigenous bag or pasiking to the volunteers and DepEd partners led by La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda, Police Regional Office-Cordillera Regional Director, B/Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan representatives from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-Cordillera, Bureau of Fire Protection-Cordillera, Philippine Army 503rd Brigade and other stakeholders here last Friday.
The officials and stakeholders also recited the Creed of Volunteerism during the program dubbed as “Binnadang a panatibker ti pammati, ayat ken namnama.”
It was followed by the dancing of the traditional “bendian” dance and an indigenous prayer and blessing led by Benguet Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative Sario Copas. 
Pagkalinawan assured the support of the Cordillera police to the new learning modality during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The PNP is always here to support your programs. Let us create new environment of shared learning, respect and cooperation among various schools towards improving the quality of education here in the Cordillera,” he said. 
“We all know that the we lack teachers especially in far flung areas who really need assistance which your PNP is addressing. We have teachers in our ranks who are being used as lecturers, as teachers as part of the ‘Pulis Ko, Teacher Ko’ initiative,” he added. 
Pagkalinawan said tapping of uniformed personnel to serve as volunteer teachers and couriers of learning materials is a way to support the whole of the nation approach to ending the local communist armed conflict in the country by delivering government services down to the far flung areas.
DepEd-Cordillera recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the PNP, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Army based in the Cordillera for the smooth implementation of the blended learning system in support to the learning continuity plan of the DepEd during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
The PNP and the BJMP personnel with teaching experience or who are licensed teachers will provide “para-teacher” services. They will be the ones to be called by the learners who need one-on-one assistance in answering the modules if they need help.
The BFP, the PNP, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines through the PA will help in delivering the modules to the students and in collecting the same materials. – Redjie M. Cawis