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Pupils’ workbooks promote cultures of Pangasinan, Benguet

11:26 PM September 17, 2013

Rizza Mae Andres, a Grade 2 pupil of Bobon Elementary School, is excited that she has another book she can call her own. She would read it at home, write and draw on it, and color the pictures, just like what she did in Grade 1.

Actually, what Andres and all Grade 2 pupils in 89 public schools in the towns of San Manuel and San Nicolas in Pangasinan province and Itogon town in Benguet province received was “Let’s Read, Think, Speak and Write,” one of three workbooks in English, which San Roque Power Corp. (SRPC) and the Department of Education (DepEd) launched here early this month.

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The other workbooks are “The World of Language and Reading” and “Science and Health,” both for Grade 3.

Tom Valdez, SRPC vice president for corporate social responsibility, said the project started in 2007 “when we saw the need to provide additional educational materials to children in our host communities.”

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“We wanted to help strengthen their basic education foundation, especially in Science, English and Mathematics,” Valdez said

At that time, he said, SRPC bought workbooks developed by the DepEd, Synergeia Inc. and the Eskwelahan Sang Katawhan-Negros Inc. for pupils in Negros Occidental.

“In 2010, I asked our DepEd officials to develop our own workbook that is based on Pangasinan and Benguet cultures,” he says. “And this is what we are launching today. These are workbooks written by teachers here and they fit our culture in Pangasinan and Benguet.”

Maybelene Bautista, Pangasinan II division education program supervisor for English, said producing the workbooks was laborious. “We held brainstorming sessions on how to go about writing the workbooks. We did a lot of revisions, editing and there were a lot of things to be done and a lot of lessons to be covered,” she said.

The English workbook for Grade 2 was developed by a team of teachers from Binalonan District 1 and the one for Grade 3 was a collaborative work  of teachers from San Nicolas District 1. Bautista edited both books.

The Science workbook was produced by a team of teachers from Itogon District 2.

Valdez said SRPC had been inspired to keep the project because based on a company assessment, the number of nonreaders in the three host towns had dropped since 2007—when the project bagan—while the number of advanced readers had increased.

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The figures can still improve with the workbooks based now on local culture, Valdez said.

SRPC will continue sponsoring training for teachers and parents on how to guide the students in using the workbooks, he added.

“We have to develop the culture of studying at home. We should be able to see children from these places with strong basic education foundation because wherever they will go, that foundation will always be with them,” he said.

The next challenge is how to produce enough workbooks for all grade school levels in all public elementary schools in Pangasinan and Benguet.

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TAGS: “Let’s Read, Benguet, Department of Education, DepEd, Education, Itogon town, Pangasinan, Pangasinan province, San Roque Power Corp., Speak and Write, SRPC, Think
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