DepEd widens reach of special education programBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Aiming to reach out to more children with special education needs, the Department of Education has increased the funding for its Special Education program and is set to open new centers this coming school year.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said this week that the state has allocated 56 percent more funds for SPED than in the past, allotting P180 million this year compared to P115 million last year.
DepEd is also set to open 69 new SPEd centers this coming school year, increasing the number of specialized learning centers from 276 to 345.
SPED centers cater to the education needs of gifted children and those with learning disabilities. The centers employ specially trained teachers who employ teaching methods designed for optimum learning of students with special needs.
“We believe that special learners deserve special attention and specialized learning tools, thus the increase in funding support,” Luistro said.
Out of the fund, each SPED center will get a P500,000 subsidy for pupil development activities, including training, educational trips, camp activities, sports and other events.
The amount will also fund the procurement of instructional materials, supplies and learning assessment tools.
DepEd also allotted funds for training of more teachers, school heads and SPED supervisors.
“Instructional materials to be procured for gifted children should be over and above those already included in the regular program. The instructional materials should likewise be able to develop the gifted child’s intellectual abilities and talents in the arts and sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and communications,” Luistro said.
Luistro instructed division and regional offices to monitor the implementation of the SPED program.
“I enjoin all concerned school officials to strictly comply with the fund utilization guidelines so we can deliver the best service to our special learners,” he said.