The Philippine Science High School (PSHS) collaborated with other government agencies in an aim to boost the quality of Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) education in the senior high program of the country.
The initiative was made possible through the program #Talino, a boot camp designed to introduce new concepts and strategies to partner schools to extend their expertise and help build up STEM education within their region.
Gene Andres, the program coordinator of #Talino said,”We strongly believe that STEM is necessary to push our country forward so, we partnered with DepEd in helping not just the Pisay but other regional science high schools and other regular schools also with strong STEM program.”
Andres explained that the program also aims to cascade the training received from the Singapore by 120 PSHS and Department of Education teachers.
“For each teacher who were sent to Singapore, we need to have five other teachers from the partner regional science high school and the regular high school to be mentored,” she said.
The boot camp was attended by Mindanao regional directors or representatives from the DepEd and the Department of Science and Technology yesterday at Grand Men Seng Hotel. Other participants were from the Abotiz Power, Philippine Genome Center, Biotech Farms, Inc. and other industries that Pisay deemed to be partners with the academe.
“We want to extend the STEM education into making it more relevant, because right now, students learn about Science and Math in books but they do not really find real life application so that is what we are trying to change here,” Andres said.
She added that they will focus on teaching STEM educators to be more resourceful yet effective given the budget constraints.
“We are teaching our teachers how to improvise because we know the situation that sometimes, due to budget constraints, they won’t have proper equipment. We will help them take practical steps on the conducting hands-on experiments in the classroom even with limited resources,” Andres said.
The #Talino also aims to align the goals of the DepEd, DOST, and the industry in relation to STEM education so that “when we teach our students, it will really be something that the industry and the science community can really appreciate,” Andres said.
Andres added that she believes the cascading model will be successfully adopted even by regular high schools despite the various limiting factors. “We have many competent teachers in DepEd. The only constraints that we see is the opportunity. The students lack the opportunity in the field,” Andres said.
Meanwhile, Delia Legaspino, director of the PHSC Southern Mindanao Campus, said the mentoring teachers from Pisay will also be able to benefit from the program.
“Our teachers who spearhead this will be able to strengthen their skills and knowledge in terms of innovation. It also helped us in the promoting our campus. We have also enlarged our linkages aside from the existing ones,” Legaspino said.