Of Dreams and Partnerships

“Pareho ra man diay ta ug panit Maam!”, remarked Bai Virgilia of an IP community in Lanuza. So my being dark-colored paved the way for an exciting conversation of her dreams for her people . She dreamed of a true – blooded IP teacher , IP policeman and other professionals which up to this time remain an elusive dream for her tribe. She has to be oriented that technical and vocational education can be equally self –liberating too.

Come to think of it , opportunities for a better quality of life start with providing them accessible relevant quality basic education. Hence, the request for the establishment of an Integrated School where their children will be able to finish junior high school is in order. For the school to provide quality education, it needs solid partnership.

Amid COVID-19, the need to build partnership is more urgent and necessary . In our interfacing with IP stakeholders, Bishop Dael proposed this framework for a meaningful partnership which I think is also workable .This is not a homily , just a revisit on the basic elements of partnership. First , there should be clarity of purpose. What is the end goal for all of this? This should be made clear from the start. What do we hope to achieve from this partnership ?

According to Frederick Nietzsche , he who has a why can endure any how . For education , the purpose of our partnership with the parents is to bring our learners to acquire Knowledge , Skills , Attitude and Values and to a state of virtue which will guarantee upright and productive citizenship .With the pandemic around , it is to be able to survive this crisis while learning continues.

Our commonality which are the shared dreams , hopes, aspirations , desires, values and interest will fertilize any partnership. Common interest ensures cooperation . Let us capitalize on our shared aspiration that we only want the best for our children . Then , we communicate to them . How can they contribute to the achievement of goals? What are the processes and terms of references ? It is very vital that there is open and trusting relationship so there should be constant feedback , after activity reviews (AAR), brainstorming and focused group discussions. With an open culture , fear of reprisal for expressing contrary opinion is absent. In a culture, where the leader is the sun and others are just orbits creativity is stifled. For people on the ground , what they need is a listening ear to empathize with their struggles , victories and challenges .

Their struggles should not be belittled and dismissed as excuses . Open and constant communication is the key to an enduring relationship.

Transparency will lead to sustainable collaboration. How do we sustain collaboration? With the Filipino culture of “ ningas cogon “ , some partnership projects do not last long . There is also such a thing as donor’s fatigue. Is this going to be a long term or short term collaboration? We have commitment building and renewal of commitment . Rewards and recognition are effective strategies to sustain collaborative efforts . Even little steps of gains need to be recognized. Hence , the Stakeholders Recognition Program . With the new normal, we can still have recognition programs virtually and on air.

My take on this partnership is to liken it to our personal relationships . Be CREATIVE and CONTEXTUALIZE . Technologize it with the different apps available now like poll voting, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom. Yes , Virginia , personalize it always.

SurSurDiv ranks 13th nationwide, 1st in Caraga & Mindanao for LIS LESF Tagging

By Ucille P. Galvez

The Planning Service in DepEd Central Office declared the final status of remote enrolment where Schools Division Offices were ranked according to enrolment this year tagged in LIS versus the enrolment in the previous School year. Based on the posted final report as of August 24, the Schools Division of Surigao del Sur came out to be in rank 13th nationwide and rank 1st in Caraga and in the entire Mindanao.

Amid COVID 19 Pandemic challenges, the Department of Education remains steadfast in its commitment to provide basic education among young Filipinos and to ensure that learning opportunities shall continue in this School Year 2020-2021 in different learning modalities offered depending on the school context.

In order for the learners to formally avail all the learning opportunities, they need to be enrolled in the system. DepEd utilized a remote enrollment process to generate learner and household information and data relative to designing the learning deliveries, for planning, resource allocation and for policy formulation. The department issued DepEd Order No. 008, s. 2020 stipulating the guidelines on enrollment for SY. 2020-2021 in the context of the health emergency due to COVID-19.

The Schools Division Superintendent Josita B. Carmen, CESO V, expressed her thanks to all the counterparts in the field for the active response to the enrollment procedures and for making sure that all learners are in the system at the given duration time.

SurSurDiv launches regular Division Virtual Research Forum

By Liza M. Guingguing

To strengthen further the culture of research in the Schools Division of Surigao del Sur, the Planning and Research Unit launched the REGULAR VIRTUAL RESEARCH FORUM on August 19, 2020, aired live through DepEd Tayo-Surigao del Sur Division FB Page.

It was highlighted with the Audio-Video Presentation of the Learning Continuity Plan of the select schools; Tagbina Central Elementary School, Maglambing Integrated School, Sinai Elementary School, Union National High School and Cantilan National High School. Relevant topics also were shared by Dr. Fluellen L. Cos on the School Heads’ Mindset in the New Normal and Ms. Liza M. Guingguing on the Conduct of Research in the New Normal. Chief Celsa A. Casa of the Curriculum Implementation Division (CID) shared also the status of the readiness of schools in all levels.

Schools Division Superintendent Josita B. Carmen, CESO V, expressed in her message that this event is intended to support policy interventions and information dissemination as regards to the best practices in teaching and learning, governance, human resource development and other areas.

In the statement of purpose, it was also cited that the activity aims to promote discussions and continuous learning experience for education leaders, researchers, local policy makers and educators in the field, provide an avenue for other sectors to engage discussions relevant to enhancing instruction and other form of academic contributions and to share effective practices, researches from schools and districts for utilization and benchmark purposes.

Per approved proposal, this is a regular virtual activity aired live through DepEd Tayo-Surigao del Sur Division FB Page once every two (2) months, for two (2) to three (3) hours in a particular schedule. The next schedule is set on October and December.

Topics are based on the emerging issues and concerns at a particular quarter as well as research-based practices that are worth sharing.

Amid this pandemic, there is a need to be more creative in sharing valuable resources in the field and also fine tune and tailor- out issues and concerns in a wider forum and avenue.

Schools Division Superintendent Josita B. Carmen, CESO V, in her message.
OIC-Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Jasmin R. Lacuna welcomes the virtual participants
Dr. Elvira S. Urbiztondo, Chief-SGOD, acknowledges the participants and invited speakers and presenters
Dr. Celsa A. Casa, Chief-CID reports the status of school readiness.
Dr. Fluellen L. Cos, Principal IV elaborates his topic on the School Heads' Mindset in the New Normal.

Nutrition Month Celebration in SurSurDiv goes digital

By Liza M. Guingguing

SURIGAO DEL SUR DIVISION, July 30 -- The 2020 Nutrition Month Celebration in the Schools Division of Surigao del Sur this July goes digital as the division medical team conducted Nutrition Month Culmination Activities using various virtual campaign strategies in view of this year’s theme, “Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL… Iwas stunting, SAMA ALL!”

The chosen theme is based on the approved theme by the National Nutrition Council Technical Committee in order to promote awareness and mobilize actions to address stunting. This calls for a collective vision of having taller Filipino children by preventing stunting through the participation of government, non-government organizations, civil society, business, academe, communities and families.

As part of this year’s celebration, this division prepared various activities adjusted accordingly in observance to minimum health standards and other guidelines as prescribed by the government. The use of virtual alternatives such as digital and social media in the launching and culmination activities were maximized to help promote stunting awareness and importance of good nutrition during the first 1000 days of life.

The Virtual Culmination Program on July 30 was graced by Maria Corazon Dumlao, Chief – School Health Division - Bureau of Learning Support Services, DepEd Central office and Leah Vina P. Vargas, Nutritionist Officer – II, National Nutrition Council CARAGA. There were also series of video presentations on healthy and nutritious recipes and success stories of the Feeding Program in the districts of Tagbina. Lianga and Cagwait as well as the showcase of talents in Tarpaulin Poster Making with 7 entries coming from different districts. Ms. Madelyn V. Lozada, RN, MAN, Nurse II of the Division Office shared also on the Good Effects of Exercise and Physical activity to our body highlighting the conduct of the regular Zumba activity among the Division Office Personnel.

Meanwhile, the launching activity on the first week of July was highlighted with the message of Nelia L. Balacuit, RND, Regional Nutritionist Dietician, DepEd Caraga Region and Ermelinda Ascarez, RND, Nutritionist Officer IV, Province of Surigao del Sur, also a short video presentation on food safety and wellness. The Schools Division Superintendent, Josita B. Carmen, CESO V, emphasized also in her message the importance of boosting the immune system in order to prevent symptoms of Coronavirus Disease and to fight stressors caused by the pandemic.

Tarpaulin Poster Making Contest 1st Place– CAGWAIT 2
Tarpaulin Poster Making Contest 2nd Place– CARRASCAL
Tarpaulin Poster Making Contest 3rd Place– MADRID 2

L & D Quality Assurance, beefed up

By Voltair C. Asildo

Purposive learning and development activities are considered vital in an organization in order to improve its performance. For a learning and development to be truly effective, an evaluation needs to be administered in order to create transparency, openness and sense of responsibility among participants and program management team. This evaluation is done by collecting data (online or offline) on whether the participants are satisfied with the deliverables of the training program, whether they learned something from the training and are able to apply those skills at their workplace.

In Surigao del Sur Division, a mechanism was already implemented in order to gather information which help the focal person reflect, analyze and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of future conduct of L and D activities.

In the month of July to August, 2020, a total of 9 L and D activities were provided Quality, Assurance, Monitoring and Evaluation (QAME). The results are as follows:

Aside from the numerical and descriptive ratings, comments and suggestions were also collated and were given to the focal persons and facilitators. The above-data showed that all the submitted and conducted training programs were rated Outstanding but record of documentation showed that not all conducted programs were submitted for quality assurance.

It is then recommended that prior to the conduct of any online and face to face activity, the focal person shall submit the necessary details to the Division QAME Associate or M and E Unit for recording and for the link to be provided.

SurSur Division Office to gear for ISO 9001:2015 Surveillance Audit

By Liza M. Guingguing

It can be recalled that Surigao del Sur Division Office conquered stage 1 and stage 2 External Audit for ISO 9001:2015 on August 5-9, 2019. To see if the Quality Management System is sustained and maintained, this division Shall undergo a surveillance audit on October to November by another set of external auditors. To this effect, all Division Office employees have to revisit the systems and reflect some revisions if necessary especially that office processes are now in the new normal way.

Feeding Program: Iwas Stunting

By Dr. Florida M. Wahing

This year’s Nutrition Month Celebration is centered on the Stunting Status of our children amidst this COVID 19 Pandemic. How we can address it despite the threat of coronavirus to our health and economy . Stunting is defined as the impaired growth and development that children experienced from poor nutrition, repeated infection and inadequate psychosocial stimulation . It is associated with an underdeveloped brain, with long lasting harmful consequences including diminished mental ability and learning capacity ,poor school performance in childhood ,reduced earnings and increased risks of nutrition related chronic diseases ,such as diabetes ,hypertension and obesity in the future.

Children are considered stunted if their height for age is more than 2 standard deviation below the WHO( World Health Organization ).

Surigao del Sur Division alone is given 22,958,800.00 for 10,617 SBFP beneficiaries within 120 feeding days and also 6,239,700.00 funds for Milk Feeding Program with the same number of beneficiaries ,but for 20 days only . This budget was for last year but the Milk Feeding Program although it was downloaded last year but due to COVID 19 ,the implementation will still be on August, 24, 2020 upon opening of classes wherein the commodity will be delivered to the respective district offices, then the school heads and teachers will get them along with the learning modules and then the parents will go to the school to get the Milk commodity bring them home for the consumption of the SW /W learner.

So with this initiative of the government , the problem on SW/S and Stunted learners will be addressed soon. SBFP and Milk Feeding Program is only a component of the National Feeding Program, a part and parcel of the R.A 11037 otherwise known as “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act “ until 2022.

Curriculum Extreme

BE-LCP-LDM in the New Normal


Division Memorandum No. 261, s. 2020 issued by Superintendent Josita B. Carmen directs all schools, public and private to prepare their Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan with the inclusion of their preferred Learning Delivery Modality (LDM).

Nine (9) schools in different typology were identified to plan and go for Pilot-Testing during the period August 3-7, 2020. While these schools had their Pilot-testing, all other schools were directed to prepare for Dry-Run activities on their LCP-LDM Implementation, all schools were scheduled to conduct Dry-Run on August 10-14, 2020 and retrieving the modules in order to consider health hazards, travel costs and time management.

As to errors spotted in the modules, EPSs were organizing teams in order to check some errors in the modules.

Portfolio Predicated on Exemplars (PPE), the Division locally-made materials will be utilized as the Learning Resources for the first two weeks of classes for the succeeding weeks of classes, the Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) Modules will be used and the PPEs will be the supplementary materials.

Teachers are also directed to prepare digital LRs so that learners could shift to another way of learning, not just the usual modular way of grasping learnings.

At present, we are on the “last touch” of these modules for some contents and grammatical errors so that by October 5 everything shall be quality assured, accounted and packed in the learners’ individual kits.

Every Friday starting August 27, 2020, we will be updating our School Readiness Status Report by means of a dashboard where we can track how many learners do we have in each District from Kindergarten to Grade 12, how many modules were already printed, how many digital materials were developed, what is the extent of partners’ support and the total percentage of readiness based on these aforementioned essentials.

This is what we call Curriculum Extreme-BE-LCP-LDM in the New Normal.

Television-based Instruction: an aid for learners

By Marieto Cleben V. Lozada

At age 13, my daughter learned a number of skills - playing and tuning up her ukulele as well as digital illustration and basic animation without the actual interaction of a mentor. Similarly, three (3) years ago, without spending a penny to hire a tutor, my son learned how to play the organ. Today indeed is the era of digital natives. Kids nowadays love to explore, learn many things and improve their skills without leaving the comfort of their homes.

The impact and influence of videos as a learning platform in the minds and attitude of our learners is limitless and overwhelming. The Department of Education is very much aware of these realities.

Consequently, the agency has acknowledged the importance of educational video production for the efficient implementation of its Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) sans face to face learning delivery modalities specially during the on-going Covid 19 Crisis.

For this reason, the CARAGA Region through the Curriculum Management Division (CLMD) conducted a webinar last August 25-28, 2020 via Google meet on Basic Video Production for Television-Based Instruction (TVI). After listening to the focal persons trained by DepEd Central Office, each 12 Division participants were expected to create a video production to be presented on the last day of the webinar. This online training was participated by all regional and Division Supervisors in all learning areas and 5 teachers/non-teaching staff from each division, serving respectively as scriptwriter, content editor, illustrator, animator and video editor.

Collaboratively, the Division of Surigao del Sur had successfully presented it own video production entitled “Illustrating Rational Algebraic Expression” based on PPE, Module for Grade 8, First Quarter Math Lessons.

The video production was realized through the efforts of the Development team handpicked by the CID Chief Celsa A. Casa and IMS Manager Camela G. Lerio, namely: Carlos Tian Chow Correos (Focal Person), Ian R. Delos Santos (Video Editor), Andy B. Cuadra (Animator), Marieto Cleben V. Lozada (Illustrator), Beatriz A. Torio (Content Editor/Voice Talent) and Hermilita S. Torralba (Scriptwriter).

Today, we are looking forward in the multiplication of talents by tapping this Division video production Development team as focal persons in the upcoming conduct of Video Production training.

Modular distance learning: What to do with waste paper?

By Yvonne Jane A. Paje

Self-learning modules (SLMs) will be primarily used in conducting new normal classes for school year 2020-2021 since most of the parents prefer modular distance learning (MDL) as an alternative to face-to-face classes.

Reproducing SLM entails using voluminous papers as each ream of bond paper can only produce at most 50 modules (back-to-back) with each module containing 20-30 pages. 50 modules can only be used by at least six students since each learner takes eight subjects with one module per subject. That indeed is a lot of paper. That indeed is a lot of trees.

After using these modules, what will happen to the used papers? Will it be used again for the school years to come when most likely face-to-face classes will be allowed already? Will it be dumped like trash? Will it be recycled or donated? What are the effects of wasting papers?

Along with the use of bleaching agents, paper production can cause water and air pollution. Landfill-discarded paper uses scarce landfill space. As paper breaks down, it contributes to leachate that can contaminate groundwater, while also generating the potent greenhouse gas, methane. Definitely, the used papers for MDL must be put into good use.

Here are some:

Reduce. Reproduction of modules must be in booklet type to reduce numbers of papers to be used. Encourage students who have gadgets like laptop, smart phones with memory cards, USB flash drive, external hard drive and smart TVs at home.

Reuse. The back portion of the paper can be used for printing, gift wrappers, notebooks and writing pads and for window cleaning. It can be used as paper pen holder, envelope, turn scrap paper into a wallet, paper CD/DVD holder, paper pen & pencil holder, sketchbook, Origami gift boxes, DIY sticky notes, etc.

Recycle. These used modules can be recycled in making paper basket, paper tray, homemade cards, curtain made of paper or paper machete as classroom, office and home decors.

Definitely, education must continue amid COVID-19; but continuity of education must not mean sacrificing environmental health.

The birth of innovation in a viral generation

By Von Jason A. Casa and Raymond Jade R. Silvoza

In an effort to fight COVID 19, the Robotics Team of Florita Herrera Irizari National High School, a pioneer in groundbreaking innovations offered insights on how innovation and technology are better equipping us to handle public health emergencies by inventing and developing solution to contain the spread of the virus.

Among the innovations of the team is the Automated Hand Sanitizer and Dryer. The Automated Hand Sanitizer and Dryer is gradually invented to terms with the new normal regime adhering to the “Proper Hand Sanitation” norms imposed by the government to guard us against the infection. It is designed to ensure contactless operation as well as provide proper sanitation in strategic places like hospitals, supermarkets, schools, restrooms and other public places.

The device is an Arduino based invention, it automatically functions by placing the hand just below the mist nozzle. An ultrasonic sensor is attached to the device to detect a person, once the hands are placed below, the sanitizer will disperse unto the hands and the dryer will blow-dry the hands immediately for disinfection.

To support the increase of production and distribution to the community, the team coordinated with the Local Government of Lanuza as partner to stipulate precautionary measures and distribute the invention within every nook of the municipality for everyone’s usage and sanitation.

Engr. Raymond Jade R. Silvosa, FHINHS Robotics Team leader expressed that as this health crisis continue, we need to help the community and find variety of ways in coming together and in helping each other by using technology as a strong support to fight COVID 19.

“The COVID 19 pandemic demands innovative solutions and collaborative effort. We are now working hard with our inventions to get into the hands of the public as quickly as possible.” Engr. Silvosa added.

Barobo NHS ventures dry run for online distance learning

By Jizon U. Morante

Aside from the Modular Distance Learning, Barobo National High School will be undertaking Online Distance Learning Modality with Grade 10 Math, Grade 7 Science, Grade 8 Araling Panlipunan and Grade 9,11 and 12 MAPEH subjects. The choice of grade levels and subjects depends on the assigned learning facilitators.

The online distance learning shall be through google classroom where learning facilitators post lessons or soft copies of the modules and give immediate feedback to the learners.

The weeklong dry run was conducted on August 10 onwards along with the modular learning modality. Prior to the schedule, an orientation was facilitated for parents on August 5,6 and 7. It was done simultaneously in all classrooms observing proper health protocols.

Dry run results were then consolidated to get the findings and to post recommendations for the challenges encountered.

School Opening Challenges

Uno may baja himoon nan mga maestro/maestra? There are comments from the parents that they shall be given the salary of the teachers since they are expected to facilitate the learning of their children during these times where the virus is persisting. Probably some of them forgot that the well-being and learning of their children start from home.

"Parental responsibility" - with respect to their minor children shall refer to the rights and duties of the parents as defined in Article 220 of Executive Order No. 209, as amended, otherwise known as the "Family Code of the Philippines.

In Article 220: The parents and those exercising parental authority shall have with the respect to their unemancipated children on wards the following rights and duties:

(1) To keep them in their company, to support, educate and instruct them by right precept and good example, and to provide for their upbringing in keeping with their means;

(2) To give them love and affection, advice and counsel, companionship and understanding;

3) To provide them with moral and spiritual guidance, inculcate in them honesty, integrity, self-discipline, self-reliance, industry and thrift, stimulate their interest in civic affairs, and inspire in them compliance with the duties of citizenship.

It has been a practice among Filipinos to “leave” their responsibilities to the teachers and Day Care workers. Corporal punishment was even encouraged by some parents to the teachers when the kids do nasty things.

Research clearly links the quality of children’s first years with their future physical, cognitive, communicative, social and emotional functioning. Interaction and rich experience are keys. But in developing countries, families are too often without resources to provide the environment and stimulation that their young children need. In the Philippines, center-based early childhood development services are scarce and of uneven quality (childfun.org).

With the onslaught of the alternative learning modality of the Department of Education, parents are expected to facilitate the learning of their children in their own capacities. The IATF prohibits the minors to go out and have face-to-face encounters with others that is why parental support is tantamount to the learning process during the pandemic.

Parental involvement is an essential factor in the development of the foundation in children’s education. In spite of this, many parents do not appear to be getting involved in their children’s education.

This lack of involvement may have a negative impact on student performance in and out of the classroom and ultimately affect their continuing educational development and success. Teachers need to play a major role in connecting to the larger school community.

The Learning Continuity Plan of the schools lists orientation of the parents on the alternative learning delivery modes for this school year. But with the varied profiles of the parents, an impending difficulty is at hand. There are those who will repel on the idea of being involved since for them, it will get along the way in finding for a living. Some of them will be out to work and how can their children expect support and guidance from those whose educational attainment are limited?

Wilichowski and Cobo (2020) said that averting the damage brought on by the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic requires an aggressive education policy response, which involves: 1) coping during the crisis to reduce learning loss while schools are closed, 2) managing continuity of learning to promote learning recovery as schools reopen safely, and 3) using the crisis as an opportunity to improve and accelerate, making education systems stronger and more equitable than they were before.

The DepEd must provide actionable guidance for teachers. This should point to ways teachers can become content curators, and provide recommendations so that they do not overwhelm pupils with excessive lectures, lessons plans, and homework. In the U.S., Uganda, Brazil, France, and Ethiopia, this guidance includes easy-to-implement ideas so that teachers can adapt the content from remote learning plans for their needs.

There must also be strong policies to allow the parents to have commitment on the learning of the children with the help of the local governments in providing learning and development to capacitate the facilitating skills of the parents.

As education systems emerge from this crisis, it is clear that a new chapter is waiting to be written with detailed medium- and long-term actions (e.g., increasing investments in remote learning, adopting blended models when schools partially reopen, or creating remedial e-courses), which can help educational systems build back stronger and become more equitable.

We will also learn from the things along the way when the new school year opens come October 5. Still, it is firm that education MUST continue. We cannot afford to have a generation of morons if we will allow the pandemic to create a learning gap.

In the Now: Embracing New Normal

It is our sworn duty to uphold the value of education in any season. But amid this pandemic, are we still on the go?

The results of our learner enrolment survey in school show that most of our students prefer modular distance learning. It further reveals that only few of our learners have parents or relatives that can provide instructional supervision. We are accustomed to the traditional face to face way of teaching and this unforeseen shift has caught most of us unprepared.

Effective teachers recognize and engage with the diversity of student experience and intellectual perspectives. (Knapper, 2007) We must know how to modify our instructional approaches and be enthusiastic to do it. The new normal is calling us to develop critical skills that can help us acclimatize. We must arm ourselves with useful tools and pedagogies so that we can effectively impart knowledge through various modalities.

Our school children need us, so we must hustle. Work from home arrangement is not tantamount to vacation. Avenues for upskilling and reskilling have become widely available as webinars flood the internet. Let us aspire to learn more so that we can do more! Let us desire to have more so that we can give more!

As I work with other teachers on our PPE (Portfolio Predicated on Exemplar), I realized how valuable our individual contributions are. Our gifts should complement for us to accomplish tasks beyond our capabilities. We are all needed, for we’re all in this together.

Today, we are left with a "new normal" that outlines our vocation. The present circumstance is calling us to pour out our best. Let us be one of those who passionately offer their time, talent, skills and resources for the good of everyone.

The present moment leaves us with no other choice but to stay passionate and remain ON THE GO! For our school children and our loved nation.

Beating the pandemic blues through QU

Maurice Gay A. Tajonera

The boredom brought about by this pandemic has tickled the mind of some creative Pinoys leading to the conception of an activity that could somehow ease the dullness of life in the current situation. In Madrid, Surigao del Sur, I conceptualized Quarantine University as a social media platform that brought the merriment and somehow unleashed the creativity of the student participants. QU is all about an online entertainment that is open to all bored netizens who have nothing to do and tired of the new normal. Just like a university and being the QU head, I posted different assignments but it is not academic in nature rather in a form of a hilarious/comical act that will be performed by the student participants and they will photograph their best shot to be submitted through Facebook.

To have an honest verdict of the assignment, QU has 13 judges of which 5 are from Deped. They carefully scrutinized every assignment submitted to come up with best output every day with prizes from netizens who voluntarily shared. A rough estimate of 114,000.00 thousand cash and in- kind donations were given to the winners from our donors here and abroad.

On the other hand, QU extended help also to the needy people especially that work was limited and many jobs were forced to stop. It also catered several charitable works in CarCanMadCarLanTan. To mention some, the team distributed relief packs to 66 families, visited two prison facilites (Cantilan and Tandag) with hygiene kits, slippers and snacks for the inmates, extended love to the nuns at Poor Clare Monastery with food, vitamins and toiletries for their consumption, served snacks to the brave front liners in 6 municipalities. QU even sent snacks to Adela Serra Ty Memorial Hospital and in CARAGA Surigao City. LGU Madrid through our Mayor Hon. Mary Grace Kimura supported us all the way.

The different activities of QU had captured the attention of GMA 7 magazine show KMJS, and we were featured nationwide followed by the regional exposures in One Mindanao (GMA regional TV), Pamahaw Espesyal (ABS-CBN regional TV) and TV PATROL North Mindanao. QU showed the resiliency of every JUAN amidst the pandemic.

Parents on education amid pandemic

By Rio Jane T. Francia

Pandemic induced schooling, something no one is prepared for. As DepEd gears up for the massive shift in education, question surfaced on how the parents are preparing for the printed modular distance learning modality – the new normal in education for Surigao del Sur Division.

While most of the parents are okay with the learning delivery mode of their respective schools and have little concerns about it, it’s not all true with those who belong to the marginalized groups. They have a different story to tell.

Nipa shingle weavers Richard Urquia, 44 and Marilyn Petros, 40 paid 300 pesos for a tutor to help their son answer the self-learning modules distributed during the dry run of Bugsukan Elementary School. Both parents are educationally challenged, incapable of giving their child the support he needs for home schooling. But when asked about why they opted to spend money for their child’s tutorial lessons instead of saving it for their food, Richard answered “Importante na maedukar an amo bata ma’am. Makabagat ra nan ipalitay nan bugas”, as he smiled with a glare of hope painted on his face.

The couple is sending five learners to school this year, three are in the secondary. Marilyn said that they will just work harder this year so that they can afford a tutor for their grade 1 and grade 3 pupils.

Similar account came from a grandmother, Nida Patosa, who is taking care of her two elementary school age grandchildren. Although the two girls are financially supported by their parents who are separated, her dilemma is assisting the kids in their learning since she is already old and has a problem with her eye sight. Nay Nida uttered that when the classes officially starts, she will send her grand children to their aunt who can assist them in their studies.

These are just two of the numerous narratives and probably setbacks schools will face when the opening of classes comes. But with collaboration and partnership, learning at this time of pandemic will be sustained. The school together with the parents and stakeholders need to work together to address the loopholes of remote learning because collaboration makes the challenges not easy but more bearable.


On the cover is Rose Amor R. Calmares, RN, Nurse II who happens to have a well-cultivated vegetable garden in her backyard for food sustenance and good nutrition.

Her experience serves as an inspiration that growing our own food gives us a sense of pride, it gets us outside and active, it gives us easier and cheaper access to healthy foods, and time to be together as a family.

Created By
Liza Guingguing