December 8, 2022

Councilor Vladimir Cayabas encouraged the Department of Education-Cordillera to organize its Special Education (SPED) Council to be composed of designated focal persons of public schools in Baguio.
Cayabas said the creation of a SPED council will strengthen the institutionalization of SPED programs for basic education in the city.
He added the SPED council may assist DepEd division officials and offices in monitoring SPED-related programs in the city, provide help in the regular conduct of evaluation or assessment to determine the effectiveness of these programs, and propose measures for more efficient implementation.
DepEd’s Department Order 26, s. 1997 mandates the institutionalization of SPED programs in all schools in the country to “provide access to basic education among children with special needs, namely the gifted/talented, the mentally retarded, the visually impaired, the hearing impaired, the orthopedically handicapped, the learning disabled, the speech defectives, the children with behavior problems, the autistic children, and those with health problems through the formal system and other alternative delivery services in education.”
Cayabas said SPED involves the preparation of teaching procedures, materials, and other interventions designed to address the needs of learners with learning differences, disabilities, and giftedness.
He added the objectives of SPED 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 to prepare them in becoming productive members of the society.
Citing Article 23, Paragraph 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC), Cayabas underscored it is the policy of the state to “provide priority for the needs of the underprivileged sick, elderly, disabled, women and children” and that the state “recognizes the disabled children’s right to special care, education and training to help them enjoy full and decent lives in dignity and achieve the greatest degree of self-reliance and social integration.”
The Philippines signed the UN CRC on Jan. 26, 1990 and was ratified by the Senate on Aug. 21, 1990. – Jordan G. Habbiling