Angeles City — Character development advocates across Central Luzon converged to strengthen character education as an integral part of basic education as the Department of Education Regional Office conducted the Character Education Summit held on July 13 at the Gabaldon Building, Pulungbulu.
160 character education advocates from various public and private organizations, government agencies, the 20 school division offices, and private schools attended the said event held to promote and advocate character formation as a vital component of the Regional Creative Schools Framework.
“Our education should not only be about tests or scores. It’s not only about making our learners go to college. More importantly is that we have to make them better individuals. We measure our leaners not by the grades but by the things that they can create,” said OIC-Regional Director Malcolm Garma.
With the theme “Magandang Asal, Mabuting Tao, Magandong Buhay,” the first Character Education Summit emphasized character building to be instilled in learners by teaching them to have love for God and nature, love for country and community, and love for self and family.
“We don’t teach character, we exemplify it. We teach character our students by being ourselves as examples of good behavior. Teaching our kids to have self-esteem is a way to help them avoid drugs, teenage pregnancies, and suicide,” Garma added.
DepEd Region III and the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group pledged their commitments through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advocate and implement a Drug Education Program in schools to curb young students from taking drugs.
“If we can involve our students in 3s – school, sports, scouting, then I believe that we will no longer have problems with our youth now,” Garma concluded.
Other partners include the City Government of Angeles City, Commission on Population, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, UNESCO Philippine Chapter, Global Peace Foundation, and University of the Asia and the Pacific.
The summit also highlighted the Exhibit and Showcase of Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) Talent Displays where various activities and initiatives that strengthen the core values “maka Diyos”, “makatao”, “makakalikasan” and “makabansa” were shown. These practices include the integration of values in all subject areas, community prayer, clean-up drives, tree planting, waste segregation, honesty stores, “magalang” bow, and search for well-deserving students worth emulating campaign, among others.
Last year, DepEd Region III also reiterated the strengthening of the core value “maka Diyos” by encouraging schools to start and end the day through a community prayer.