Tabaco National High School named champion for innovative teaching

Tabaco City National High School
Tabaco National High School
LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has declared Tabaco City National High School (TCNHS) in Albay as national champion in its search this year for best Innovative Practices in Managing Large Classes (SIPMLC).

DOST Regional Director for Bicol Tomas Briñas based here announced this Wednesday as he received the information from the DOST’s Science Education Institute (SEI), the organizer of the yearly search.

In winning this year’s SIPMLC national award, Briñas said, the TCNHS was recognized for its project “Effectiveness in Chem-Connect Project in Managing Large Classes in Chemistry” that aims to instill in the students a deeper understanding of chemistry through various video clips and practical work approaches.

The award hopes to inspire and reward teachers from the public and private high schools to innovate and create impact in teaching Science and Math in spite of large number of students all crammed up in one classroom and encourage other schools to adopt the strategies applied by the awardees.

According to Briñas, an entry for the SIPMLC is submitted in a form of a project proposal that identifies the problems encountered in handling large classes.

The project proponent must develop the methodology to be critiqued by experts from DOST-SEI and University of the Philippines-National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP-NISMED)-Diliman.

Entries are judged according to innovativeness, 35 percent; doability and replicability, 30 percent; sustainability and impact, 20 percent; and resource utilization and cost effectiveness, 15 percent.

The panel of judges selects among the 50 project proposals and trim it to only nine entries to qualify as finalists.

These finalists are automatically given P100,000 as a grant to implement the project in their classes, Briñas said.

The next phase involves the evaluation and monitoring of experts and consultants.

Out of the nine entries, only two are chosen as national winners.

In this year’s search, the TCNHS shares the glory with Surigao City National High School for its entry--“Inquiry-Based Collaborative Learning Program (ICLP) for Teaching Large Science Classes” which developed Strategic Intervention Materials or teaching aids designed to stimulate the learning activities of the students.

Managing large classes have been a major concern not only for teachers but also for the government as students’ proficiency in math, science, and English have greatly deteriorated in the past due to the congestions in classrooms, which is not a textbook practice in basic education.

This problem has resulted in a drop in the students’ academic performance and the absorptive capacity of complex concepts, especially in Science and Math.

In the 2003, according to DOST-SEI Director Dr. Jossette Biyo, Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS), which is the most comprehensive study on the Math and Science proficiency in the world, revealed the country’s plunging performance in basic education.

In the fourth grade alone, she said, the Philippines got 378 of the international Math average of 467, ranking at fifth from the bottom among the 25 countries surveyed.

In Science, the country ranked at 332, a third from the bottom with an international average of 489, Biyo said.

Although the sharp rise of student enrollees in the public schools are tightly attributed to the economic downturn of the country, DOST, on its part, is looking at solutions to finally up the students aptitude in Science and Math, which is an important ingredient of the country’s economic development and competitiveness, she said.

Through teachers’ innovative ideas and creative juices, students can have a renewed interest in Science and Math which could raise a new level of awareness and discovery in the future, thus the search for the SIPMLC, Biyo noted.

The SIPMLC is on its second year and has already produced four winners.

DOST-SEI plans to publish these studies and look into their impact in terms of adoption and effectiveness.

“DOST is fully committed to unlocking science education through innovative programs designed to meet the ever-changing learning needs of the youth,” Biyo said, adding that her years of teaching at the Philippine Science High School in Iloilo strengthened her belief that education should be transcended from a mere classroom.

“The best laboratory is just outside the classrooms, and teachers should be more of a stimulant to the students’ imagination and creativity,” she stressed.

At the TCNHS, its principal, Myrna Gonzales, told the Philippine News Agency here over the phone on Wednesday that a celebration has been put in place inside the school campus within this week for the school’s victory in the SIPMLC national championship.

The TCNHS is the largest public secondary school institution in the first congressional district of Albay with a yearly average enrolment of around 5,000 students. (PNA) CTB/FGS/DOC/CBD/UTB

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