THE special education (Sped) center in Naga City, Cebu has received educational equipment and other materials from Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi)-Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund (DACF).

Rafi-DACF recently turned over the aid to support the school's specialized learning modules and instructional materials for academic year 2021-2022.

Naga City Sped Center caters to elementary, junior high school and senior high school learners with special needs. It has at least 386 students.

The Sped center is currently the only public school in the entire City of Naga Division that offers education for learners with different exceptionalities such as autism, blindness and/or visual impairment, deafness and/or hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disability, orthopedic impairment, specific learning disability, speech/language impairment, and children who are considered gifted and talented.

Naga Sped Center's aim is to prepare students with disabilities to successfully transition as independent adults within the community.

At the height of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, access to special education during was a challenge. Several gaps in online and blended education were identified and needed to be addressed, especially in the aspect of providing special education to learners with different exceptionalities and disabilities.

With the challenges faced by both teachers and young learners throughout the pandemic, Naga Sped Center decided to continue providing quality education via distance learning.

Some of the identified gaps in delivering quality inclusive education include conducting online classes, mass production of quality learning resources, distribution, and retrieval of self-learning modules.

Supporting students

Naga City Sped Center has its “Agak Tinun-an (Guiding Student)” program.

Agak Tinun-an, anchored on the students' transition program, is aimed at providing comprehensive and strategic learning experiences and transition services for learners with special educational needs (LSEN’s). It is designed to help LSEN’s become functional and independent members of the community in spite of their disabilities, Rafi said in its press release.

“The Agak Tinun-an program focuses not only on the transition curriculum implementation but the whole transitioniong process for learners to provide adaptive and practice life skills to be independent, functional, and holistically developed Filipinos,” shared Heziel S. Omambac, Teacher 1 of the Naga Sped Center.

This transition program makes use of a specially designed care package that will empower learners in their transition from school to home education, as well as school to community engagement. This care package includes targeted self-learning modules and supplemental worksheets distributed every week to provide interactive and engaging learning materials.

In support of Naga Sped Center’s commitment to providing access to quality special education even amid the pandemic, Rafi-DACF provided a grant for educational equipment (printers, scanners, laminators, and laminating films) with a total estimation cost of P30,000.

Rafi-DACF said it is the right of all children, including children with special educational needs, to receive equal access to inclusive education which is appropriate to their needs.

Children that are gifted, have any kind of mental, physical, or emotional disabilities deserve to have quality special education. They require special type of teaching approaches or care, or special equipment that can be used to maximize learning capacities both within and outside the regular classroom, Rafi-DACF said.

The Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. aims to enable communities to champion for children to reach their own potentials. Its grants program supports initiatives promoting the welfare and development of children through early education and health and nutrition.