LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The introduction of Sports Track under the Senior High School (SHS) program of the Department of Education (DepEd) is under the context of promoting “school sports,” based on the department’s mandated function.
Tonisito M.C. Umali, DepEd Assistant Secretary for Legal and Executive Affairs and Palarong Pambansa Secretary General, emphasized this point in a press briefing held over the weekend in this city just before the opening of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa.
“Ang DepEd po ay naririto para po feeder system, ang konsepto po na tayo ang magfi-feed ng athletes, tayo ang magde-develop habang bata pa sila. And we’re doing this in the context of school sports, hindi po A-League sports,” Umali clarified.
(DepEd is here as a feeder system, the concept that we will develop the athletes while they’re young. And we’re doing this in the context of school sports, not A-League sports.)
Umali made this statement after he was asked if the implementation of the Sports Track under the DepEd’s SHS program will result to the agency taking a more active role in the government’s sports development program – similar to its previous mandate as Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) decades ago.
But the official dispelled this notion, saying that it was the role of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
“Ang batas mismo ang nagbigay mandato sa Philippine Sports Commission. ‘Yan po ang ahensiya na talaga pong tututok, paghuhusayin ang lahat ng atletang Pilipino (The law itself mandates the Philippine Sports Commission. That’s the agency that will focus and develop Filipino athletes),” Umali said.
Umali also said that discussions should focus more on strengthening existing sports programs initiated and implemented by the PSC.
“I hope discussion should be focused on how we train a champion from the moment the child steps into the school. There should be an efficient talent identification system,” Umali emphasized.
The official also recognized the important role and interventions of the PSC and National Sports Associations in sustaining and improving the talents developed by the DepEd through the Palarong Pambansa and Sports Track under SHS curriculum.
“Dapat ‘yan na po ang focus natin ngayon, at tayo ay naniniwala na mangyayari ‘yan sa susunod na administrasyon (That should be our focus now and we believe that will happen in the next administration),” Umali said.
PSC was created as the top government sports body by virtue of Republic Act 6847 or The Philippine Sports Commission Act, mandating it as the prime catalyst and advocate for the propagation and development of Philippine sports.
When martial law was imposed in 1972, DepEd became the Department of Education and Culture, and was subsequently reorganized into the Ministry of Education and Culture in June 1978 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1397, due to the shift to a parliamentary system of government.
In August 2001, the Governance of Basic Education Act was passed, renaming the DECS to the Department of Education and redefining the role of field offices, which include regional offices, division offices, district offices, and schools.
The Act also removed the administration of cultural and sports activities from the department. The National Historical Institute, Records Management and Archives Office, and the National Library are now administratively attached to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
All previous functions, programs, and activities related to sports competition were all transferred to the PSC. The Bureau of Physical Education and School Sports was also abolished.
Starting June this year, DepEd will introduce the two-year SHS program to complete the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum as part of the government’s reform agenda in the education sector.
There are 4 tracks under the DepEd’s SHS program. First is the academic track under which are the 4 strands, namely; Accountancy, Business and Management or ABM strand, Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMMS) strand, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and General Academic Strand (GAS).
The second senior high school track is Technical, Vocational Livelihood or TVL which is composed of four strands: Agri-Fishery Arts, Home Economics, Information and Communications Technology or ICT, and Industrial Arts.
The third senior high school track is Sports, and the fourth is Arts and Design. – Rappler.com
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