Press Release
November 12, 2012


In continuing support for accessible quality education, Senator Edgardo J. Angara emphasized that a special unit within the Department of Education (DepEd) needs to be created to focus and target children with special needs (CSN)--those that are gifted or with disabilities.

According to the DepEd, there were an estimated 5.4 million Filipino CSN as of 2010, representing a mixture of students who are blind, deaf, mute, and with conditions like autism and of students who exhibited superior academic performance.

"These children have specific needs which merit different kinds of approaches to their education. But that does not mean they should be left segregated and isolated--all the more, in fact, should they be included in the coverage of our educational bureaucracy," emphasized Angara, who recently sponsored the Special Education Act (SBN 3002).

The proposed measure aims to institutionalize special education in both public and private elementary and high schools, in part by establishing under the DepEd, the Bureau of Special Education (BSPED).

The said bureau will be tasked to formulate and administer appropriate curricula and developmentally-suited programs to primarily achieve functional literacy of CSN and ensure their inclusion to society.

Angara explained, "Authors of the measure thought that this objective will be better attained with a special unit focused on crafting a curriculum for exceptional children, training teachers with the appropriate skills for this cohort, and implementing programs to proliferate the needed unique administrative and supervisory skills."

Under the measure, the BSPED will function as a regular bureau and will be under the direct supervision of the Department Secretary and will be headed by a director and assistant director. Angara underscored, "Each child--regardless of their condition--deserves a fair chance at receiving quality education for their full potential to be realized. I am confident that my colleagues will agree that we need to take steps towards making our educational system as inclusive as possible." Angara, who is a former UP President, authored such education-related bills as the Free High School Act, the Universal Kindergarten Education Act and the law establishing the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) Program.

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