INQskwela: Inquirer, Valenzuela team up for students | Inquirer News
InqSkwela project to cover 26 schools in city

INQskwela: Inquirer, Valenzuela gov’t forge partnership for students

INQskwela

Together with the Inquirer’s executives and Mayor Rex Gatchalian, the virtual MOA signing was attended by the school heads of the 26 participating schools headed by Superintendent Meliton Zurbano

MANILA, Philippines — The Valenzuela City government and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, through the Inquirer Foundation, have entered into a partnership for a project that aims to promote reading and media literacy among students and teachers.

The Valenzuela INQskwela project is the latest milestone in an initiative that the newspaper started in 2019. Under INQskwela, partner schools will have news and information published in the Inquirer as part of the students’ lessons, particularly in their social studies, English, and journalism subjects.

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INQskwela

Together with the Inquirer’s executives and Mayor Rex Gatchalian, the virtual MOA signing was attended by the school heads of the 26 participating schools headed by Superintendent Meliton Zurbano

A total of 26 junior and senior public high schools in Valenzuela City, or about 60,000 students, will be given access to the paper’s digital edition InquirerPlus for four months starting Feb. 14.

The original plan was to distribute print copies of the newspaper to each school, but the digital version will be used for now since the city has yet to resume in-person classes.

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Joy in reading

“When I was a kid, I remember clipping articles from newspapers and pasting them on bond paper as homework. I want this project to bring back the joy in reading newspapers,” Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said during the virtual signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the local government and the Inquirer on Friday.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian

Nostalgia aside, Gatchalian said he also hoped that students in his city would become more aware of current events and develop a sense of involvement in society at a young age.

Among INQskwela goals is for the youth to be mindful of fake news by getting their information only from credible sources.

Reading newspapers as a habit, Gatchalian said, “helped me understand that we may not all share the same views all the time; that the country is diverse. We have different perceptions and points of views. But in the end, it’s our responsibility to understand that diversity

Solutions journalism

The partnership is proof that the Department of Education, the City of Valenzuela and the Inquirer have a common understanding of what public service really means, according to Inquirer president and CEO Rudyard Arbolado

Atty. Rudyard S. Arbolado

Philippine Daily Inquirer’s president and CEO, Atty. Rudyard S. Arbolado

“In your (Valenzuela’s) case, you are carrying out your duty as public officers seeking to develop the youth with a view to uplifting their lives. For the Inquirer, we see [INQskwela] as our contribution to a new brand of journalism which we call solutions journalism,” Arbolado said at the MOA signing.

With Valenzuela taking the lead, there is hope for this kind of partnership to flourish among local governments in Metro Manila and later across the country. This network of partnerships, he said, will be an ideal forum for exchanging ideas, techniques, and best practices for the advancement of the country’s educational system. “The true winners here are our youth and the country,” said Arbolado, himself an educator who teaches business law at a university in his hometown of Bacolod City.

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Quiz bee, debate

This June, the Inquirer and the Valenzuela City government plan to hold an INQskwela Quiz Bee, an interschool contest that can give the city’s brightest students a chance to shine.

“As a culminating activity for the umbrella INQskwela project—and with the questions coming from news articles published in the Inquirer, the Quiz Bee will test the students’ knowledge about current events, national news and interesting happenings in the country,” said Connie Kalagayan, head of the Inquirer Foundation.

Connie R. Kalagayan

Philippine Daily Inquirer’s AVP for Corporate Affairs and Inquirer Foundation’s executive director, Connie R. Kalagayan.

Also in the pipeline as part of the INQskwela project is an interschool debate, as well as a webinar where students can interact with the Inquirer’s award-winning reporters and editors for a glimpse into their life and work as journalists.

“Every learning opportunity matters,” Gatchalian said. “This is a good start for INQskwela, and we look forward to expanding it even further in the coming years.”

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TAGS: INQskwela, Inquirer Foundation, Valenzuela City
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