In line with the department’s thrust in providing quality and inclusive education for all, the Department of Education (DepEd) continues to provide the necessary educational interventions for learners with certain exceptionalities through its Special Education (SPED) program.

The said program provides a holistic approach in catering the needs of learners with various exceptionalities. This program ensures that learners with exceptionalities will have access to quality education by giving them their individual and unique needs a normal school set-up.

Aware of the said program, the district of Lakeside, Division of San Pablo City, spearheaded by its Public Schools District Supervisor and Principals, held its first District Learning Action Cell titled “Inclusive Education” on July 26.

167 teachers from the five schools that made up the district participated in the said program. The LAC Session focused on orienting and equipping teachers on inclusive education which aims that all children with disabilities, regardless of the nature and severity of their disability and need for related services, receive their total education within the regular education classroom.

This initiative caters to learners with visual impairment, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, learning disability, emotional and behavioral disorder, multiple disability with visual impairment, and to those who are orthopedically handicapped, chronically ill, and gifted and talented.

This is in compliance with DepEd Order No. 72 s. 2015 which mandates every school to accept learners with special needs and be part of the regular school. The department, in its full capacity recognizes the fact that pupils/ learners with special needs should be in regular schools for they can learn in the same way normal pupils learn.

The parents or guardians of learners with certain exceptionalities may reach out to principals or guidance counselors of schools where they wish to enroll their children to determine the necessary instructional program that their children need best.

This move by the Lakeside District proved that learning is equally accessible and readily available to all who believe that education is the instrument and tool to combat the perennial problem of the country called poverty.  (Ryan Lester C. Macandili, Teacher III, San Pablo Central School )