TheDepartment of Education through the Bureau of Elementary Education is implementingthe Special Science Education (SSES)Project in pursuance to DepEd Order No. 73, s. 2008, DepEd Order No. 51, s.2010 and the latest is DepEd Letter Unnumbered from the Director III, OIC,Office of the Director IV dated August 2, 2011.
The Project started in SY 2007-2008 withfifty seven (57) identified schools for Batch 1 as pilot schools throughout thecountry. Of the 57 , four (4) schools in Region V were identified – Naga Central 2, Naga City Division; IrigaCentral , Iriga City; Ligao East Central School, Ligao City; and JMAMES SPED Center, Catanduanes.
The Program was later expanded and for Batch 2, another three (3)schools in Region V were included – GoaCentral School, Camarines Sur; Gubat North Central School, Sorsogon Province;and Sorsogon East Central School, Sorsogon City Division.
This SY 2011-2012, the program was againexpanded and for Batch 3, five (5) schools in Region V were identified and these schools are: Albay Central School, Legazpi CityDivision; Tabaco Northwest Central School, Tabaco City; Guinobatan East CentralSchool, Albay Division; Jose Zurbito Sr. Elementary School SPED Center ofMasbate City Division; and the existingDivision Pilot Special Science & Math Class of the Virac Pilot Elementary School, Division of Catanduanes.
The SSES Project envisions developingFilipino children who are equipped with scientific and technological knowledge,skills and attitudes; creative and have positive values; and lifelong learningskills to become productive partners in the development of the community andsociety. Its mission is to provide a learning environment to science inclinedchildren through a special curriculum which recognizes multiple intelligencesand is geared towards the development of God-loving, nationalistic, creative,ecologically aware, scientifically and technologically oriented and skilledindividuals who are empowered through lifelong learning skills.
The program has three components – The School, the Learner and the Curriculum
The learners in the SSES must exhibit thefollowing characteristics:
On Physical/Psychomotor– must generally be healthy, alert and active and has heightened sensoryawareness.
On Intellectual/AcademicAspect – acquires knowledge fast and accurately, has quick mastery andrecall of factual information, superior reasoning ability, inquisitive andcurious about a lot of things, observant and quick to note details, reads bookswithin and above his/her age, has a ready grasp of underlying principles andcan make valid generalizations, has awide and well developed vocabulary, has a large storehouse of information abouta variety of topics, can concentrate for long periods of time, can analyze ideasin different ways and other varied solutions to problems.
On Social/Emotional/Motivational Aspect – must be adaptable andflexible, independent, enjoys doing challenging and different tasks, prefers towork independently and requires littledirections from teachers, is self-motivated in accomplishing his/her work andothers.
On Leadership/Creativeness – the SSES pupilparticipates actively in school/community activities, is self-confident withchildren of his/her own age as well as adults, initiates worthwhile activities,creates new ideas and products, gives original ideas or solutions to questions,has varied interests and abilities, etc.
The SSES utilizes Science curriculum that will providefor the development of lifelong learning skills and foster the holisticdevelopment of the child. The subject Science& Health is taught starting in Grade1and provides longer instruction timein Science. In Grades I-III, 70 minutes and for Grades IV-VI, 80 minutes.The Curriculum also utilizes varied teaching approaches/strategies to addressthe multiple intelligences, learning styles and needs of the learners.
To enhance the operation of theproject, financial subsidy is provided to the implementing schools to beutilized for the enhancement of teachers and school heads capability andparticipation to conferences, trainings, seminars and immersion training inscience oriented schools, development of pupil activities such as investigatoryprojects, leadership training, workshops, payment of internet subscription,procurement of instructional devices/facilities like science models,apparatuses, video materials and software in Science, Mathematics and Englishincluding maintenance and repair of said facilities.
The Division of Catanduanes is blessedto have two (2) schools as recipient of the Program. The JMAMES SPED Center is now implementing the program up to Grade 6since it started in SY 2007-2008. For the first year implementation, Grades 1and 2, second year , Grades 3 and 4 and now on its third year ofimplementation, Grades 5 and 6. The SSES is periodically monitored by personnelfrom the Bureau of Elementary Education and the pupils aside from taking theregular National Achievement Test (NAT) an Expanded NAT is also administered tothe pupils at the end of the year to determine their performance level.
The Division Pilot Special Science and Math Class (DSSMC) of the ViracPilot Elementary School is a division initiated science program organized inthe year 1977 pursuant to Regional Memorandum No. 55, s. 1977 by then DivisionScience & Math Supervisor, Dr. Ricardo B. Francisco. Hence, this class hadbeen in existence for the last thirty-four (34) years. Records show that theDPSSMC has proven its worth. For many times, it has placed the Division ofCatanduanes in the Regional and National Map by winning in DEPED sponsoredcompetitions as well as competitions sponsored by other agencies of thegovernment. The graduates are now successful in their chosen field of endeavor.
The principals and teachers in the implementingschools have the major responsibility oftracking pupils’ academic progress, guiding pupils towards activities thatfoster scientific thinking and culture and ensuring the increase of the yearlymean performance level by at least 5%.
Parent’s support and otherstakeholders in the community are likewise needed for this program to besuccessful.