Newly conferred Metrobank Foundation Fellows in Public Service proposed to restore Philippine History in the high school curriculum and mainstream inclusive instruction to Department of Education (DepEd) officials and members of the academe last February 12 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Complex, Pasig City.
Veteran history teacher and 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Dr. Cristina Cristobal presented the need to revive Philippine History in high school, a subject previously removed by DepEd in the K-12 program. She also proposed the inclusion of teaching Philippine Government and Constitution for a school year, a bid she successfully pushed for in the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) System’s social science curriculum.
“Many of our students lack affection for history because of the traditional method that is used, but perhaps there is a way to love history. We’re not only teaching them facts, we want them to become critical thinkers,” said Dr. Cristobal.
The legacy of Dr. Cristobal, Quezon City’s Veteran Innovator in History Instruction, in PSHS can be best captured by her initiative to inspire changes to the students’ perspective towards learning history. She believes exposing students to primary sources provides evidence-based approach to learning.
Another 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino and special education teacher Dr. Dorothy Tarol, meanwhile, proposed the mainstreaming of her action research on inclusive instruction nationwide. Entitled “Buddy-Mediated Instruction (BMI): Pivotal Strategy for Spelling and Social Skills for Students with Hearing Impairment,” the study aims to develop a student’s basic literacy skills through pairing of two “buddies” who engage in learner initiated-activities.
According to Dr. Tarol, she hopes to “help teachers by sharing information about evidence-based instructional strategy for struggling readers by creating reading literacy experiences relevant to students’ interests, everyday life and to current environmental events.”
BMI, as an instructional strategy, also became a benchmark model in DepEd Divisions of Iloilo and Iloilo City and was already replicated by around 178 schools.
Dubbed as Western Visayas’ Paragon of Inclusive Education, Dr. Tarol has shifted her teaching career to cater to students with disabilities at the Special Education-Integrated School for Exceptional Children in Iloilo City. She has since devoted her life’s work onto shaping an environment conducive for learners of all kinds.
Both proposals were deliberated in a roundtable discussion with Curriculum and Instruction Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio, Assistant Secretary Alma Ruby Torio and officers from the DepEd Bureau of Education Assessment, Alternative Learning System Program Task Force, National Educator’s Academy of the Philippines, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and PSHS.
Through the Metrobank Foundation Fellowship in Public Service, professional milestones and personal life stories of the awardees are brought to the fore. Achievements that result to positive change and innovations that address major societal concerns are highlighted and widely shared.