BY: JUSEPH ELAS
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. – Unknown
Stagnation. That is what Claret School of Zamboanga City feared eight years ago, and that drove the academe to innovate its educational system by adopting the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP).
Before DLP, Claret was already doing well in terms of academic standards in the peninsula. However, the school is continuously searching for improvement and growth.
“Claret has already been doing well but for the purpose of improving the quality of education, the administration, led by the then director Fr. Christian James DL Castro, CMF and high school principal, Ester Tangco, have considered such innovation in the school’s educational system,” said Mrs. Rose Siega, Mathematics Department Head.
Developed by physicists Dr. Christopher Bernido and Dr. Maria Victoria Bernido of the Central Visayan Institute Foundations (CVIF) the DLP is a response to the challenges of basic education in the country, and to develop students’ performance in class.
The program entails aspects for improvement such as the (a) parallel classes where two to three classes are having the same subject where one expert teacher explaining the subject matter and 2 other facilitators to supervise the other classes while the expert teacher is at the other class; (b) portfolio system where every activity of the student is kept in a folder for records and reference purposes; (c) learning-by-doing system where the teacher will only explain little of the subject and will leave the students to explore and find the rest of the concepts on their own by doing activities designed for the subject.
Commenting specifically in the portfolio aspects, Adeline Jalamana, a senior student of Claret Zamboanga said, “sa portfolio, effective po kasi mas nagiging madali ang pagrereview ng mga students.” (the portfolio is effective because it makes reviewing (of our lessons) easy.)
However, one question remains unanswered. Why DLP?
Siega said, “DLP has certain features which develop the students holistically. It allows the students to become self-regulated learners and leads them to become value-oriented individuals. The learning process of the DLP is complete since it does not only develop the minds, it also shapes the hearts.”
On the other hand, the K-12 system was already implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd). The K-12 added additional two years in secondary education in the hope that it will make our graduates more globally competitive.
Claret, having a new educational system, which is a first in Mindanao, will have to adopt the K-12 system as well. The challenge is how to integrate the two.
“With the K12, the students’ skills and competence are developed. The role now of the DLP is to ensure that the students are acquiring the necessary skills and competencies for them to become highly skilled individuals,” Siega said.
But how effective will the education instructions in Claret be if DLP and K-12 is combined?
Ivy Ancis, English Department Head of the school said that “DLP focuses on student-based activities and K-12 does the same; only K-12 is student-centered rather than teacher-centered. So, both enhance students learning and skills in a way that they give the students the opportunity to learn on their own, to discover concepts on their own thus the independent learning plus honing their skills to analyze will be the basis to say that with these two combined, the instructions in Claret is effective.”
The school has to prove that, in one way or the other, it has really performed well in the recent years since DLP’s implementation. In a report given by Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), Claret’s Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Entrance Test Results (ETR) of 2009-2010’s survival rate increased astronomically by 88.05% compared to that of 2005-2006 where it was 76.7%, while its mortality rate (in 2009-2010) was 11.94% compared to that of 2005-2006 where it was 23.3%.
Graduates of the school can also attest to the benefits of the program.
“It [DLP] encouraged me to learn or study on my own especially when not being spoon fed by the teacher. During class, I take notes that sometimes not used for review purposes since I am able to comprehend the lectures while I write them. It is because DLP enhanced my ability to learn by doing.” Kim Retusto disclosed. Kim is taking up Electrical Communications Engineering at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University and is a graduate of Claret Zamboanga.
It was a challenge for the school to adopt another instructional system and more challenge for the students. However, seeing where it leads them and where they landed after graduation is the fruit one can reap out of DLP. Here is the catch: imagine the fruit to reap now that K-12 is a part of Claret’s system.