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Philippine schools for young scientists opened

The number of public schools that breed future Filipino scientists has now reached 200 nationwide, with the addition this school year of 100 new schools that offer specialized curriculum focused on the sciences.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the 100 new special science elementary schools (SSES) consist of Special Education (SPED) Centers with programs for the gifted, and the talented and selected regular schools which passed the SSES screening procedures.

"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. We need to train more scientists to support national development," added Luistro.

The stronger focus on science education is included in the 10-point education agenda of President Aquino. "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," Luistro explained.

SSES is a project of DepEd designed to develop Filipino children who are equipped with scientific and technological knowledge and skills plus creative and positive values that will make them catalysts in spurring research and development thrusts.

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

Teachers in SSES are equally trained to measure up to the expectations of teaching specialized courses in Math and Science and must be committed to the vision of fully developing the scientific minds of young learners.

Longer Time for Science

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.

"We also provide our students in the special science program academic and co-curricular opportunities to reach their full potential, thus, they join science camps, investigatory projects, academic competitions as well as networking with other science-oriented schools both locally and within the ASEAN region."

The SSES curriculum provides longer instruction time in Science. For Grades 1 to 3, instruction time is 70 minutes. For Grades 4 to 6, it is 80 minutes. The school head/teacher may further enrich the curriculum if they feel it is necessary to address the needs of the pupils.

The first batch of SSES pupils who have a complete science education from Grade 1 to 6 will graduate in school year 2012-2013. SSES are the feeder school for science-oriented high schools strategically located nationwide. [via Manila Bulletin]


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