TEACHER CORNER | Special Program for the Arts: Value and benefits

by Dan Santiago Anadilla

Education in the Philippines aspires to cater to all learners with an inclusive curriculum that inspires lifelong learning.

Among others, this means that the education should develop the skills and talents of learners, not only in science, mathematics, and language, but also in the arts.

In recent years, DepEd has made a strong case for this through the Special Program for the Arts (SPA).

The SPA gives students the opportunity to hone their talents in the different artistic fields.
These fields are Creative Writing (English and Filipino), Visual Arts, Theater Arts, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Dance, and Media Arts.

The program is rooted in the belief that arts education is an integral component of a balanced educational program.

There are a number of benefits for engaging in arts education.

One is that an arts education encourages a healthy disposition through creative self-expression. Many even use it as a form of therapy for various mental and emotional health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and the like.

Another benefit is that an arts education helps learners prepare for more advanced studies and even work opportunities. Those who are eyeing a creative career benefit from an early introduction to and overview of the different artistic disciplines.

An arts education is also key to self-discovery. By expressing one’s feelings and energies, the learner is often able to know what his or her preferences, strengths, and weaknesses are. This helps him or her deal with them, by improving or eliminating them.

Often, this self-awareness even leads to increased civic engagement and greater social tolerance, making for a more productive and progressive society, because its youth is able to respond adequately to their various impulses.

Engaging in the arts is an essential part of being human. Whether or not one eventually decides to pursue a creative career, it is vital that he or she is given ample opportunities to receive an arts education.

This, in a nutshell, is the importance of the Special Program for the Arts.

It is my hope that as stakeholders of education, we all support this noble initiative to encourage our learners to be the best they can be.