World-class high school closer to homeBy Rochelle Bonifacio-Prado |Philippine Daily Inquirer
In response to the clamor from parents who wanted their children to continue receiving the same kind of progressive education the school offers in preschool up to sixth grade, Domuschola International School in Pasig City opened its high school department in 2012.
Vanessa E. Exiomo, mother to a seventh grader, says, “We believe a progressive education is what is best for our kids.” She cites Domuschola’s small class size and innovative approach to teaching and learning.
At the heart of the Domuschola program is a collaborative relationship with parents, other family members and even community agencies, making home and school inextricably tied in the students’ learning processes.
This educational philosophy is succinctly summed up in the institution’s name—home (domus) and school (schola).
The collaboration encourages children to apply the knowledge they acquire in school to their home, community and environment, making classroom learning dynamic.
Domuschola International School began 12 years ago as Second Mom Child Care Preschool. In 2006, it became Domuschola Internationalis Grade School.
IB world school
The school was authorized in 2011 by the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization, a nonprofit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland, to run the IB Primary Years Program, joining the ranks of IB World Schools, only the second in the Philippines.
The school emphasizes the student-centered inquiry methodology, encouraging questioning and analytical habits to promote the continuous quest for knowledge.
“We need to go beyond data and information accumulation and move toward the generation of useful and applicable knowledge, a process supported by inquiry learning,” says Domuschola director Jennifer Mapua Banal.
Making sense of information is second nature to every Domuschola student. They go beyond “what” they know and analyze “how” they come to know. Math, science and other subjects are easier because in place of memorization, there is understanding.
Grade 7 student Keiko Exiomo says, “I was able to adapt easily to the curriculum and understand how it was being managed. The new subjects were made more interesting [so] you really want to learn.”
Mom Vanessa notes how her children love going to school to learn, not just because of their friends. “They are highly inquisitive thinkers, caring, respectful, opinionated, confident. They love to learn,” she says.
Instead of feeling uncomfortable about their parents’ constant presence, home-school collaboration seems to strengthen the bond between parents and children.
Part of the equation
Parents do not just attend school events but participate in curriculum implementation, parent seminars and student-led conferences, among others, and maintain strong communication between home and school.
“Children gain confidence and motivation knowing that we parents are there and are willing to help,” says Vanessa.
The school-home collaboration also extends to projects to benefit the community.
Project READ developed a community library for underprivileged children of the neighboring Mandaluyong City. Through a literacy program, Domuschola students read books to other children and share knowledge.
The student-initiated Project FEED uses students’ entrepreneurial skills for the benefit of children in need.
Reflection and action are two important aspects of the learning process at Domuschola, helping transform students’ behaviors for the better.
Vanessa is confident her daughter will be well-prepared for college. “The skills and competencies [they learn] are [what are needed by] present day professionals,” she says, and “prepares them for life.”
Domuschola International School is at Dorm 1, Philippine Sports Complex, Ugong, Pasig City (tels. 6359743, 6352002). Visit firstname.lastname@example.org; www.dis.edu.ph.