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Education and Home

NZ education system impresses DepEd execs

- J. Antonio Rimando -

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines - The public school system in New Zealand (NZ) is so advanced in terms of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that preschool children in rural schools are already each provided with laptop by the government.

This was one of the significant observations made by a group of Department of Education (DepEd) regional directors, including Western Mindanao (Region 9) education chief Walter Albos, during their recent week-long educational tour in NZ which, unfortunately, was hit not long ago by a killer earthquake.

The visiting DepEd field officials, aside from Albos, included directors Paraluman Giron of Calabarzon, Ligaya Miguel of Ilocos, Josephine Tamondong of Cordillera Administrative Region, Mario Ramirez of Central Luzon, Isabelita Borres of Central Mindanao, and Estrella Babano of Northern Mindanao.

Albos noted that each NZ elementary and secondary school is governed by a local board of trustees which implements the national government’s educational programs and projects in its own state.

NZ public education is free and compulsory even as the government collects no school and miscellaneous fees from students.

Albos also observed that NZ parents who don’t send their children to school are sanctioned by the government; hence, school participation rate is virtually 100 percent even as school dropout is never a problem in that country which boasts of more cattle and sheep than people.

NZ average class size is only about 15 students who actually perform most of the classroom activities themselves. The teacher’s task is focused mainly on classroom supervision and management, Albos said, adding that instruction is very informal with every classroom having a socialized atmosphere where children often do their class work freely sitting or squatting on the floor.

Classroom walls are replete with attractive instructional devices even as reading materials openly lay on corner tables. Every local classroom also boasts of a corner kitchenette complete with plates, glasses and utensils where children take their free snacks with milk during their free time. The NZ government also provides students with free school service buses which take them to school in the morning and return them to their respective homes after classes.

ALBOS

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

ESTRELLA BABANO OF NORTHERN MINDANAO

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

ISABELITA BORRES OF CENTRAL MINDANAO

JOSEPHINE TAMONDONG OF CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

LIGAYA MIGUEL OF ILOCOS

MARIO RAMIREZ OF CENTRAL LUZON

NEW ZEALAND

PARALUMAN GIRON OF CALABARZON

SCHOOL

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