IN THE NEWS: DepEd opens regional journalism schools

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EDUCATION SECRETARY Secretary Jesli Lapus opens regional journalism schools to serve as training ground for the country’s future journalists.Seventeen public secondary schools nationwide are now offering DepEd’s Special Program in Journalism (SPJ) starting this school year.

Lapus said the program will allow students in public high schools to harness their skills in journalism and take on the role of responsible communicators.
“More than the skills, we anticipate this program to sow the seeds of integrity, hard work, and creativity in our youth, thus, build the foundation for developmental journalism,” he noted.

Schools selected to offer SPJ are Mangaldan National High School (Region 1), Don Mariano Marcos National High School (Region 2), San Jose del Monte High School (Region 3), Tanza National Comprehensive High School (Region 4-A
Calabarzon), Dolores National High School (Region 4-B MIMAROPA), and Naga Science High School (Region 5).

Also chosen are Oton National High School (Region 6), Cebu City Science High School (Region 7), Palo National High School (Region 8), Zamboanga del Norte National High School (Region 9), Misamis Oriental Comprehensive High School
(Region 10), Davao City National High School (Region 11), Irineo Santiago National High School (Region 12), Bayugan National Comprehensive High School (CARAGA), Maluso National High School (ARMM), Pines City National
High School (CAR) and North Fairview High School (NCR).

For the pilot year, Journalism I and Advanced English will be offered as initial SPJ subjects.

Earlier, the DepEd’s Bureau of Secondary Education held a training-workshop for two teachers and a school head for each of the 17 schools to equip them with the skills in handling the SPJ program.

“Being selected in the program gives both pride and pressure for the school,” according to Wilma Aquino, principal of San Jose del Monte High School—the school representing Region 3 in the SPJ.

“It recognizes the achievement of our school in the field of campus journalism — having won numerous competitions in the regional as well as national level — but it also means that we have to keep the standard and remain to be a cut
above the rest,” added Aquino

In her school, 30 first year students with aptitude and inclination to journalism were chosen for the program after a rigid selection process.

She admitted that the students have a big task at hand.

“Not only do they have two extra subjects on their plate, they also are expected to take up courses related to journalism in the future,” Aquino observed.

“And they have started to discover the joy of writing.”

Rhebilyn Dumalay, adviser of San Jose Del Monte High School’s “Ang Pintig” found likens her experience in the paper to growing a delicate plant.

“You join in their labor in coming up with an issue. During writing competitions, you inspire them, cry with them in triumphs and loss,” she relayed.
Schools selected to handle SPJ have teachers who have taught journalism or served as school paper adviser for at least two years.

These schools have students with great interest in journalism and have a classroom for the program — equipped with journalism-related software and courseware. (PR)


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