LEPT topnotchers from Pangasinan want to uplift Science, Math

Pangasinan State University congratulates its topnotchers in the March 2024 Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers. Two of them from the Bayambang campus want to make science and mathematics learning interactive and useful to learners.
Pangasinan State University congratulates its topnotchers in the March 2024 Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers. Two of them from the Bayambang campus want to make science and mathematics learning interactive and useful to learners. Photo courtesy of PSU via PNA

TWO topnotchers of the March 2024 Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (LEPT), both from Pangasinan State University (PSU) aim to make Science and Mathematics subjects more interactive and appealing to young learners.

Jose Brando Castro, 23, from San Carlos City, is a graduate of Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Science and No. 2 overall in the LEPT while Samuel De Vera, 23, from Malasiqui town, majored in Mathematics and was 9th in the exam.

Castro said he observed that the manner of teaching of science is somehow concept-based but he was inspired by his teachers at PSU to go beyond the norm by conducting experiments that provide higher retention of the lessons’ ideas.

“What I think is the effective way of teaching science to reach out to children is for them to experience firsthand the topic being taught since I believe we learn best when we learn while doing it, not just by listening (to lectures),” he told the Philippines News Agency in an interview on Monday.

Castro was not originally inclined to take up Education because his childhood dream was to become a soldier.

He passed the entrance exam at the Philippine Military Academy, but failed to meet the medical requirements.

“I prayed for so long but I was redirected towards something greater. I am thankful for that rejection because it led me to where I am now. And maybe, I will be useful here [as a teacher] since it is my goal to use my skills not only for myself but for the service of other people,” he said.

For his part, De Vera said he wants to change students’ assumption that mathematics is not useful and boring.

“I will find a way for the learners to enjoy studying math. I think it will be effective to contextualize or localize (the lessons) and allow them to see how they can use the subject in their daily lives,” he said in a separate interview.

He said mathematics is valuable especially in the technological age and the booming artificial intelligence industry since coding is based on mathematics.

Castro and De Vera were Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholars.

“The DOST scholarship developed patriotism in us, molding our values, love of country and service,” Castro said.

Another PSU graduate, Alla Mae Castro, who took up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in the Lingayen campus, was 10th placer in the LEPT.

PSU president Dr. Elbert Galas said the topnotchers were products of a curriculum designed to ensure quality education.

“Starting from admissions, we are implementing strict selection, with written examination and interview (and) choosing the poor but deserving or excellent students,” he said.

He said PSU provides cash incentives to board topnotchers -- PHP150,000 for the Nos. 1 and 2; PHP100,000 for Nos. 3 to 6; and PHP80,000 for the top 7 to 10.

Galas said PSU is gradually decreasing its maximum absorptive capacity based on the number of faculty, laboratories, and classrooms.

During the pandemic, PSU admitted 30,000 learners but decreased to 24,000 to achieve maximum absorptive capacity. (PNA)

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