Reimagining Education: Leadership in Communities

5 January 2022

Congressman Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia III – 2nd District of Bataan

First and foremost, as the family being the basic unit of society, we feel that they are the best leaders within their families, and within our communities and barangays. We focused and came up with a program called Educhild wherein there is a 10-session course reminding parents of skills and examples of how they can become better parents and better citizens.
At first, our parents were asking, “Bakit kailangan pa naming mag-aral tungkol sa pagiging magulang?” We’ve learned enough from our own parents, from our lolos and lolas but after going through the first few sessions of the program, they realized how important it is because of the changing times and how they are helped by the experiences of not only the facilitator but also of other parents.
I would like to share the impact of this program. It is capacity building. It reminds parents what we have to do especially with regard to the education of our children and, in the process, since this is helping our parents become better parents, they are able to relate to the programs and projects of the community. They are not only better leaders of their families, but that sense of responsibility that sense of awareness., what they learned being the first caregivers of their family, being the first teachers of the family, their awareness of things going around the
community, things happening in the city, in the province, they become more participative. Yun po ang isa sa napakalaking bagay na nakita namin.
Second, this happened prior to the pandemic. We decided to tap our community leaders, our civil society organizations to join an education and health caravan. We call it KKK, Kabataan at Kalusugan para sa Kinabukasan. Ang objective namin is to promote healthy lifestyle to students, to strengthen the leadership of the student government, to increase the engagement of the community with the schools. Nag-pilot kami sa seven high schools from 2019 to 2020, right before the pandemic. We decided to do this, not only to get community engagement, but also because of the very big responsibility of DepEd when it comes to universal health care.
Ang objective namin dito is to make sure that our students when they graduate, whether grade school or high school, dapat meron silang healthy lifestyle. Hindi sapat na alam nilang bawal manigarilyo. Hindi sapat na alam nilang masustansya ang kinakain nila. Dapat ginagawa nila through the promotion of physical activity in the school, through the promotion of proper nutrition in the school, injury prevention, and mental health programs. This includes enforcement of various health laws but also making it sustainable, have a healthy school environment and community. Kaya dito, pinupush namin ang pagtatanim in our houses in our schools. Naalala ko pa noong grade school meron tayong vegetable gardens sa mga schools. I am not sure if all schools do that now. Physical education in schools–kulang sa gamit, kulang sa lugar, minsan walang maayos na basketball or volleyball court ang ating mga schools. Minsan hindi na napu-push ang physical activity, physical education sa schools. Minsan, nagiging recess na lang ang PE. So dito, gusto nating idiin sa mga paaralan na ang laki at ang bigat ng kanilang responsibilidad.
Lastly, we piloted using a Learning Management System. Aside from the modules, the printouts, we invested in a learning management system in one school, in the Balanga City National Science High School. For everyone, it’s like a software application that facilitates the distribution of classroom materials. Makikita doon ang class schedule, outlines, assessment, exams so nagkakaroon ng magandang feedback among teachers, students and parents. What is important here is we digitalized the lesson plans of our teachers, so every year that goes by, naka-record, na-build up ang learning modules, ang lesson plans ng mga teachers.

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