100 new public science schools opened

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Education has opened 100 new science schools, making a total of 200 science-oriented public schools across the country.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said there is a need to strengthen science education to support national development.

“We feel that it is time to add more science-oriented schools in addition to the first SSES in 2007 which was composed of 57 schools and another 43 in 2009,” said Luistro.

He said the 100 new special science elementary schools (SSES) consist of selected regular schools which passed the SSES screening procedures and Special Education (SPED) centers with programs for gifted and talented students.

Luistro said the stronger focus on science education is included in the 10-point education agenda of the Aquino administration.

“We support the vision of the President to strengthen science education because a strong foundation in the sciences is one of the building blocks of a progressive economy,” he said.

According to DepEd, SSES are the feeder school for science-oriented high schools strategically located nationwide. The project is designed mainly to develop Filipino children who are equipped with scientific and technological knowledge and skills, and creative and positive values that will make them catalysts in spurring research and development thrusts.

The SSES also provides enriched curriculum for Mathematics and Science, where gifted and talented learners are provided a venue and exposure to develop their aptitude and skills.

The DepEd added that teachers in SSES are equally trained to measure up to the expectations of teaching specialized courses in Math and the Sciences, and are committed to the vision of fully developing the scientific minds of young learners.

SSES are appropriately-equipped with laboratory rooms, science apparatuses and equipment, ICT-based learning resources, as well as Science, Math, English textbooks, and supplementary materials.

The SSES curriculum allots longer instruction time in Science: 70 minutes for students in Grades 1 to 3 and 80 minutes for Grades 4 to 6. At the same time, school officials may further enhance the curriculum if they feel it is necessary to address the needs of the students.

The first batch of SSES students with completed science education from Grade 1 to 6 will graduate in school year 2012-2013.

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