Sunday, February 28, 2010

S.P.A. (January 25, 2010)

Last January 19, we celebrated quite an eventful birthday.
At a glance, bad news seemed to outnumber the good though.
On one hand, Manny Pacquiao and Josh Clottey formalized their March 13 fight at the $1.3 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
On the other, bodies of Jerome Yap and Perly Panangui were found dead in Haiti, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde died of heart attack, Marlene Aguilar-Pollard expressed her willingness to take a thousand bullets for her son Jason Ivler, Supreme Court dismissed a petition to disqualify former Pres. Joseph Estrada from running from the presidential race in May, among others.
Personally, we chose to go where the gospel was.
With Ellay, we attended Fr. Joey Faller's healing mass at Buklod ng Pag-ibig Healing Center before we had our romantic lunch at Cocina Juan in Teachers Village and riotous with the rest of our family at home.
However, at around 10 p.m. after helping our kids with their assignments, we had to treat ourselves to a SPA.
That is, Special Program in the Arts.
We had to leave to assist the Department of Education, upon the invitation of Joey Ayala and Pauline Bautista.
So we travelled to Montevista Villas inside Mimosa Golf and Country Club of Clark Field in Pampanga to serve as a Creative Writing consultant.
The said Bagong Lumad Artists Foundation Inc. (BLAFI) president and corporate secretary respectively appeared to have gone beyond promoting Good Citizenship Values (GCV) for prosterity and integrity.
Recently, the Dynamic Duo of social artistry led the launch of the Siningbayan: Art of Nation Building published by United Nations Development Programme Philippines and
University of the Phillipines National College of Public Administration and Governance.
This fieldbook contains essays written by Mary Ann Fernandez-Mendoza, Bro. Rolando Dizon FSC, Alex Brillantes, Jose Abueva, Josefina Atienza-Salvaňa, Antonio Meloto, Maricel Fernandez, Teresita Baltazar, Felipe de Leon Jr., Ma. Gloriosa Cabangon, Christine Belen, Henrietta de Villa, Dinah Palmera Nadera, to name a few.
Together with us who wrote ULAT: TULA and Kuwanismo were Basilio Esteban Villaruz who did Creating Dance Studies in Five Relevant Lessons and Alma Quinto who did Visual Arts for Development.
Last January 20, the three of us were asked to join forces with James Diaz and Joy Guadalupe (Music) as well as with Cris Anthony Gonzales (Theater) to address on-the-spot practical concerns of the Curriculum Enhancement Module Writers such as Marilyn Api-it, Richard Calimbas, Amelia Catindig, Christian de los Angeles, Rufino Diamante Jr., Roland Fronda, Milyn Garcia, Mesalina Gonzales, Lovella Jarobel, Monette Lampa, Llewelyn Lumpas, Gizales Mansalo.
Day 1 saw us with the multi-awarded singer/songwriter as well as the The Family Rosary Crusade's Children's Rosary Club host/writer opened the Workshop on Curriculum Enhancement with Dep Ed Bureau of Elementary Education's Curriculum Development Division Assistant Chief Irene de Robles, Kathleen Diza, Marion Grace Murillo, and Rosalinda Serrano.
Dr. Yolanda Quijano, in her talk entitled Model Building: Elementary Education Special Program in the Arts, discussed the anchor of it all in the 1987 Constitution's Article, Section 17: “The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.”
Nevertheless, the National Achievement Test (NAT) results manifested a very minimal average of 57.77% over-all Mean Percentage Score – with 58.73% in 2005, 54.66% in 2006, and 59.94% in 2007.
Evident was the fact that NAT had been focusing too much on the left side of the brain's output since it had been excluding the examinees' potential in the field of humanities.
Thus, Dep Ed had authorized the creation and operation of SPA to detect, intervene, and develop artistically inclined pupils.
A comprehensive program was designed to cater to all elementary students from kindergarten to Grade VI who excellently perform in Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts.
Kids enrolled in the SPA will have a special schedule and teacher who will be honed via Summer Training Program (M.A. Degree) through a memorandum of agreement or scholarship grants under the Senate Bill No. 1561 and 591.
All over the country, there will two pilot schools per region to act as feeder schools for the BSE SPA.
These schools must offer at least three disciplines.
Paul Torrance Creativity Test and Omnibus Talent Survey/Scale are the assessment tools.
The Pilot Period will start this year until 2013.
It will be finally institutionalized by 2014.
Yesterday we finished crafting standards, competencies, and curriculum materials.
In the end, it is the urgent task of Dep Ed to attain the goals of Education for All and Millennium Development Goals.
Former Philippine High School for the Arts executive director Florina “Lala” Castillo had been a Dep Ed consultant for the last two and a half years but her hindsight could go as far back as the 90s: “Bro. Andrew Gonzalez left behind a very important but little-known legacy when he began the first Special Program for the Arts in 17 pilot schools from all over the country. These 17 schools, despite the usual dearth of resources, went on and flourished. Taking the cue from them, a good number of grade schools went to trying out isolated, brave, intense, passionate projects on their own, where they are. So we are happy that the Bureau of Elementary Education has taken initiatives in the directions of the arts in grade schools. And those of us who know a little bit more, are here to help out where we can – in terms of artistic experience and expertise, wisdom in pedagogy, and sheer love and passion for the arts – so that these steps in the right direction are not wasted and so that those who have come before us shall know that their efforts have not been wasted and that those who come after us shall continue, standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, to continue to enrich and enhance the arts in the lives of the nation's children.”
Joey Ayala added his last word: “We tend to have a product-oriented view of measuring the success or failure of education. Can we balance this with process-orientation? State competencies and standards in terms of EXPERIENCE. e.g The student has experienced creative processes such that, as proof, he/she can sing his/her own name, can draw his math lessons, can act out a story . These creative experiences side-by-side with exposure experiences (has listened to opera, has seen a Kalinga dance, has eaten a vegetarian meal, has cooked rice, etc.) should help round off and strengthen classical/traditional grammar-math-logic lessons. Experience makes sense of theory.”
On average, people fear spiders more than they do death.
Blessings always look small
If we hold them in our hands,
But if we learn to share them,
We realize how great and precious they are.

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