Special education serves children with emotional, behavioral, or cognitive impairments or with intellectual, hearing, vision, speech, or learning disabilities; gifted children with advanced academic abilities; and children with orthopedic or neurological impairments.
The purpose of special education is to enable students to grow to their fullest potential by providing a free appropriate public education designed to fit their unique needs.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the structured school routines for these special children were interrupted and they are perhaps the most affected students by this disruption.
By adopting the distance learning, it’s now parents who must establish that routine. As a result, parents of special needs children have struggled through a trial-and-error process to find what works—and what doesn’t—to encourage their children to engage with virtual education and/or in-person education that looks much different than it did before COVID-19. They really find difficulty in handling the situation. This prompted the SPED Team in SDO Masbate City to conceptualize a project that would guide and assist the parents and other teachers in the teaching-learning process of the Learners with Difficulties (LWDs) and would help hone the independent learning skills of the children for a life-long learning.
“GIYA”, a Minasbate term which means to guide or to provide support is a project to be launched in SDO Masbate City for our dear SPED Learners. GIYA which stands for Geared towards becoming Independent Young and Adults focuses on the development of livelihood education to our youth and adult LWDs towards self-fulfillment, entrepreneurial endeavors that would help them become life-long learners and eventually, put up his or her own business enterprise and employment. Taking into account the unique needs of LWDs, the livelihood training may include, but not limited to, different learning areas such as bread and pastry production, cookery, food/fish processing and dressmaking. GIYA will develop LWDs abilities and prepare them for living independent, productive, purposeful and fulfilling lives with the help of both the internal and external stakeholders.
The launching of Project GIYA started at 9o’clock in the morning, July 23, 2021 through FB Via Streamyard hosted by the SPED Teachers, Ms. Alissa M. Cantoria and Mr. John Errol D. Valencia. It was followed by the Opening Remarks given by Mrs. Maureen R. Bueno, Principal III of Jose Zurbito Sr. Elem. School represented by Mrs. Consuelo Asia, the assistant Principal. She emphasized the importance of Special Education for our Learners with Disabilities. PSDS Francy R. Valdemoro emotionally shared her touching personal life experience with her son who happened to be a special child. CID Chief Mr. Noel D. Logronio emphasized in his message to support special education program especially by the SPED parents and stakeholders. A piano rendition was given by one of the SPED pupils, Kiel. Ma’am Elisa Suarez, Regional SPED Supervisor expressed her gratitude to the Division in spearheading a noble project like for the dear SPED Learners with the assurance of her all-out support to its implementation. ASDS Arvin R. Sese gave his words of encouragement and support to the project relating his experience as the former school head of the school.
Finally, SDS Madam Fatima D. Buen inspired everyone with her captivating message. She encouraged the family to support its members with special education needs. After the opening program, features of Project GIYA was laid out by Ms. Catherine D. Balbon, the proponent of this project. Messages of support from TESDA and DOLE followed next. The City Government through Mayor Rowena R. Tuason also extended its support towards the project. EPS Science Madam Jemnah A. Macabe, the Division SPED Coordinator oriented the participants on the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders in the SPED program. She, then oriented the participants on what will transpire during the day. The first speaker, Sir Kim Kenneth L. Ala, Social Worker Officer III, shared his expertise on Auxillary Services for the PWD. Ms. Shinette C. Ragasa talked on mental Health and Psychosocial Support. I discussed the K to 12 Transition Curriculum for Learners with Disabilities and showed the proper placement of the learners in the Special Education Program. Mr. Darwin E. Francisco discussed the Learning Accommodations for learners with Autism and Similar Disabilities. I shared also my knowledge in the Accommodation for Learners with Visual Impairment and Ms. Alissa M. Cantoria for Learners with Hearing Impairment. Mr. John Errol D. Valencia on Learners with Intellectual Disability. The different Learning Difficulties were discussed for the participants to be able to guide their children with special needs as well as develop in them independent and lifelong learning.
Project GIYA and the Capacity Building for Parents ended successfully. Other parents were not able to join the virtual activity due to poor internet connection in their place. They were just given a copy of the recording and some were advised to replay the Live stream of the activity. Through this online launching and orientation to the parents via zoom, the parents will be capacitated for the community immersion and integration of LWDs into the economic mainstream through training for employment or entrepreneurship for sustainable livelihood despite their physical or occupational limitations. The online orientation may include, but not limited to, different learning accommodations for Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, Learners with Intellectual Disability, Autism and Similar Disabilities. The sessions which include the Auxiliary Services for PWD, Mental and Psychosocial Support, guide on How to Accomplish LAS will be helpful to the LWDs Parents and Teacher-facilitators.
After the launching and orientation, each parent or guardian of LWDs will be assessed to evaluate their level of mastery and development of the necessary knowledge and skills learned to assist their young and adult LWDs. The output comes into short video clips as an actual application on how they assist their young and adult LWDs in performing activities being given to each learner.