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Valenzuela’s Education 360 bags Galing Pook plum

Valenzuela City Mayor REX Gatchalian (third from left) and other local chief executives throw their fists in the air  in jubilee over their Galing Pook victories,September 1, 2015. Valenzuela City was cited for its Education 360 Investment Program, a large-scale spending on the local basic education system.  This has been Valenzuela's second Galing Pook since it first won in 2012 for its 3S (Simple, Speed, Service), a streamlining of government procedures.


Photo by: Rodrigo de Guzman
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Valenzuela City on Tuesday, September 1, earned its second Galing Pook award after the city government’s education program impressed judges at the Olympics of Philippine local governance.

The Education 360 Investment Program was among the 10 outstanding local government programs recognized during the ceremonies at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.  The first time Valenzuela received its first Galing Pook was in 2012, for the 3S (Simple, Speed, Service) Program, a streamlining of government procedures.

 “Dati-rati, kapag tinanong mo kung ano ang problema sa edukasyon, ‘Classroom, classroom, at classroom’ ang lagi nating naririnig. But with Education 360, it tries to address what we cannot see – the software (Before, when we talk about what’s wrong with our education system, all we hear is ‘Classrooms, classrooms, and more classrooms’. With the Education 360, we address those things we cannot see – the software),” said Mayor REX Gatchalian, speaking before the 17-member panel of judges on August 31.

“It is systemic – this is its strongest selling point because we acknowledge that there are multiple dynamics at play,” said Gatchalian. “You need a lot of components to solve these problems.”

Cover all fronts

Began in 2014, the Education 360 is a holistic approach to uplifting the quality of local basic education.  The city government adapts a “cover-all-fronts” strategy and invests in every vital aspect of basic education:  school supplies, curriculum, nutrition, teacher competency, parental involvement, and infrastructure.

Free school supplies are provided to kindergarten, elementary and high school students under the Balik-Eskwela Project. This school year, more than 84,000 received backpacks, notebooks, pens and water tumblers, among other supplies.

Since its first run in May 2014, the Valenzuela Summer Reading Camp has helped more than 30,000 pupils in the grades three, five, and six overcome reading challenges and become independent readers.

Camp teachers, as well as education majors at the local university Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela who would serve as aides, would be trained in the camp curriculum a month ahead.

Nutrition affecting the quality of a pupil’s learning, underweight day care children and pupils in kindergarten through grade six are served vegetable meals in schools under the Chikiting Food Patrol and K-6 Citywide Inschool Feeding Program. More than 16,000 children are enrolled at the programs each year.

At the Nanay-Teacher Parenting Camp, which first run lasted September through December 2014, parents are taught how to expand their roles in their children’s learning.  Topics covered by the camp modules include fair discipline and tightening family bonds. More than 52,000 nanay-teachers participated in the camp.

The city government aims to maintain its 1:45 student-to-classroom ratio amid burgeoning student population by building more classrooms. The City Engineer’s Office reports that 162 classrooms were built in 2013 and 2014. This includes the 20 in the state-of-the-art campus of the local science high school Valenzuela City School of Mathematics and Science. A total of 148 classrooms more are expected to open by the end of 2015.

Since 1993, the Galing Pook award has been handed by the Galing Pook Foundation to local governments with exemplary programs.  This year, the foundation collected 153 entries, which later were trimmed down to 16 finalists.  Ten eventually became awardees.

2015-09-03 | By: Rafael Carpio Cañete

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