U.P. College of Education
Promoting Special Education Programs
in Local Schools
Ingrid R. Yap1
Mercedes P. Adorio
Diliman, Quezon City
Kids World Integrated School,
North Greenhills, San Juan City
This is a qualitative study of 11 schools and six school divisions selected to expand and organize Special Education-Inclusive Education Program in the Third Elementary Education Program (TEEP) of the Department of Education in the Philippines. Schoolbased management (SBM) became the integrating framework of TEEP three years into the project. The study investigated how the local schools in selected pilot areas have used SBM to address the issues on (1) access to formal school, (2) quality of educational experiences, and (3) stakeholders’ participation in school activities that are relevant to the interests of children with special needs. Results show that most schools gauge access by the number of identified students with special needs. Quality is linked to the availability of SPED teachers and resources. Participation is associated with parents’ involvement in their special child’s individualized education plan. Keywords: special education, inclusive education, school-based management, school principal empowerment, stakeholder participation1
The Philippine government in its continuing effort to improve the quality of education in the country launched the Third Elementary Education Program (TEEP) in 1997. This nine year project was aimed at improving the quality of primary education by means of decentralizing governance at the elementary school level (Department of Education, 2006b). The passage of Republic Act 9155 in 2001 provided the Department of Education (DepEd) the legal mandate to reorganize governance in basic education. With such directive, school-based management (SBM) became the framework for making institutional changes to improve elementary school students’ learning (DepEd, 2006d). The school divisions selected for TEEP are located in the poorest provinces in the country. The mean scores of the students in these divisions were among the lowest in the National Achievement Tests. The DepEd selected the schools with the assumption that if school reform could be successfully launched in the marginalized sectors of the country, then it will be as effective when adopted in the urban Corrrespondence should be sent to Ingid Yap. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yap & Adorio
areas (DepEd, 2006b).
The Philippines, as a signatory of the Salamanca Statement of Action on Special Needs Education, recognizes the principle of equal educational opportunities for “all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions” (Salamanca Statement, 1994). This framework was adopted in the Philippines through the Department of Education Culture and Sports (now DepEd) Order no. 26 which institutionalized inclusive education. The order required the organization of at least one SPED center in each division and implementation of SPED programs in all school districts where there are students with special needs.
Special education started in the Philippines in 1907 with the establishment of the Insular School for the Deaf and Blind. The school started with 92 deaf persons and one blind person. Today, DepEd serves 11 types of children with special needs in public schools. As of schoolyear 2006-2007, there were 162,858 students with special needs at the elementary level, 51% or 83,231 of whom are in the gifted program. The remaining 49 % were students with various disabilities such as hearing impairment, visual impairment, learning disability, mental retardation, behavior problem, autism, and cerebral palsy. Students with learning disabilities comprise 25% of students with special needs. However, up to this date,...