Jose Carillo's Forum



Media literacy education to be included in Philippine school curriculum

MANILA—The Department of Education will be introducing media literacy education in the elementary and high school curriculum. Education Secretary Mona Dumlao-Valisno said this will protect children from the negative effects of the harmful contents in the various forms of media.

“We believe that our young learners need to be protected from adverse media which they encounter every day while in the process of acquiring information and entertainment,” said Valisno.

She said she has ordered the creation of a Media Literacy Task Force (MLTF) to develop a National Media Literacy Education (NMLE) curriculum that would help children understand and handle media.

“Our children need help in developing their skill to distinguish good news from bad news and good programs from bad ones,” explained Valisno.

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Filipino high-school students bag major awards in Intel science meet
Four Filipino high-schools students bagged major awards at the recently concluded Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) at Silicon Valley in San Jose, California.

The young scientists—Marc Arthur Jordan Limpiado, Jean Reni de Guzman, Marc Mapalo, and Maria Sia—won the fourth place Grand Awards in Intel ISEF, with a cash price of $500. They are all students of Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas campus.

Limpiado won fourth place in the microbiology category with his individual research on the antimicrobial properties of seven seaweeds found in the Philippines. He discovered in his research study that seaweeds could produce antibiotics, offering cure for diseases. His discovery could also serve as a starting point for future studies on medicine.

De Guzman, Mapalo and Sia won fourth place in the group category for their study showing that Red Tide could be treated with indigenous materials such as clay, malunggay (Moringa oleifera) seeds and shrimp shellings.

The young Filipino scientists competed with 1,611 other contestants from 59 countries. Projects were evaluated onsite by more than 1,000 judges from various disciplines.

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Registration ongoing for ALS accreditation and equivalency tests

ILOILO CITY (PNA)—The Department of Education (DepEd) is again opening its doors for those who would like to avail themselves of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) accreditation and equivalency (A&E) tests slated on August 15.

DepEd-Western Visayas Resource Mobilization chief and previous ALS coordinator Corazon Puluhan said the registration for the A&E tests is now ongoing and will end on June 15. She added that a registration and testing center has been identified in every division. In Iloilo, these are at the Mabini Elementary School and at the Iloilo National High School.

Elementary and high school dropouts who are 11 or 15 years old, respectively, on or before the day of the exam are qualified to register and may take the corresponding elementary and secondary ALS A&E tests.

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Teachers in Catholic schools encouraged to use population education module

TUGUEGARAO CITY—The Commission on Population (POPCOM) Region 2 has encouraged teachers to utilize the new teaching module on population and development education (POPDEVED) for catholic schools.

Ms. Theresa Soriano, Information Officer, presented to the Regional Population and Executive Board (RPEB) the newly published book by the University of San Carlos Press and Population Studies Foundation for elementary, high school, and college levels. She said that the book can be a substitute to the sex-education module produced by PopCom and DepEd that church leaders found very controversial.

Soriano said the module contents are very much appropriate to the age brackets of pupils and students. For elementary level, the book only tackles more on basic education on population in the community, components of population growth and the benefits and adverse effects of population growth. For secondary, it is more on the discussion on population growth and ecosystems, ecosystem balance and stewardship, and population growth and age-sex composition.

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United Kingdom:

Middle-class children are too busy, says UK education leader

Middle-class children are missing out on quality family time because their parents feel under pressure to enroll them in endless after-school and weekend activities, private school leaders have been told.

Parents are so worried about failing their children that they are signing them up for everything from horse riding to obscure martial arts—as well as showering them with expensive gadgets and toys, according to Graham Gorton, chair of the Independent Schools Association (ISA).

Gorton warned that constantly judging pupils in a target-driven system risks robbing them of “the very essence of childhood.” He believes that being denied the opportunity to “just go out and mooch about in the garden” means young people are failing to develop imaginative and inquiring minds.

“It’s good to be involved in activities but I think it’s really important to get the balance right,” he said.

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United States:

Amazon launches a second translation imprint

Amazon has established and launched a second publishing imprint, AmazonCrossing, which will do English-language translations of foreign-language books. Its first title will be Tierno Monénembo’s The King of Kahel, which will be released on Nov. 2. English-language editions of The King of Kahel will be available in print format through Amazon’s online store and will also be released as an e-book.

Amazon said it will choose titles for AmazonCrossing the same way it does for AmazonEncore—using customer feedback and “other data from Amazon sites around the world to identify exceptional books deserving a wider, global audience.” In addition to selling the titles through its own channels, Amazon hopes to sell AmazonCrossing books in bookstores.

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IELTS monopoly of Australian market likely to be broken up

A monopoly enjoyed by the English language test IELTS is likely to be broken up.

Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Evans has given in-principle approval for rival tests to be officially recognized as English proficiency tests for overseas students or workers seeking visas.

Eileen Tyson, a TOEFL representative in Australia this month for talks, said: “We’re very hopeful. There's really no objective reason why TOEFL [the US-based Test of English as a Foreign Language] could not be confidently used in the Australian [immigration] context.”

TOEFL, which dates back to 1964, and a new test from global publisher Pearson are known to have applied to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for official status.

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, which emerged from British and Australian collaboration, has had a monopoly since 2001 when the department mandated its test for student visas.

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Avoid unnecessary use of English, ex-RSS chief urges

Former RSS chief K Sudershan on Saturday asked people to avoid “unnecessary” use of English, an essence of the British rule that is relegating the national language Hindi.

“While the British rule was pushed out of the country with the great sacrifices by martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, the essence of the British rule (English language) is yet to go away," Sudershan said paying tributes to martyr Sukhdev on his 103rd birth anniversary.

“The greatest tribute to the martyrs would be to adopt the Indian culture and our own language which is being relegated to secondary position in preference to English,” the former chief of the right wing group said.

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Demand for MBAs in the Russian language

The world’s third most-spoken first language and, more importantly, its most popular second language, English, is often, somewhat ironically, labeled the lingua franca of the business world.

But not all Russia’s businesspeople are English speakers, and learning a language to study for a master of business administration degree can be time-consuming. “When I was looking at studying, I had a choice: either study language or an Executive MBA,” said Vladimir Verbitsky, first deputy director of the Russian Institute of Directors.

As a result, Verbitsky, an independent director at several Russian firms, opted to look for a Russian-language program. Having originally decided on a course at a Russian institution, he changed his decision on finding a Western business school offering EMBA courses in Russian.

Lecturers at Western business schools have a deep understanding of business practices, Verbitsky said. Although Russian lecturers have a great grasp of the subject, they were brought up in a completely different environment “World outlook is very important in business education,” he said.

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To boost English proficiency, newspaper provides 10,000 copies to Tamil schools

In a bid to enhance English language proficiency among Indian pupils, the Penang state MIC has come forward to sponsor 10,000 copies of The Star to 10 Tamil primary schools in Seberang Prai.

State MIC chairman Datuk P.K. Subbaiyah said the sponsorship, a joint venture with the Mak Mandin Tamil School Ex-Students’ Association would see The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) programme run over 10 Wednesdays from May 5 to July 21.

“We hope our humble sponsorship cannot only help enhance the pupils’ command of the language, but also help them widen their general knowledge,” he said at the presentation ceremony at SJK(T) Mak Mandin in Butterworth recently.

Subbaiyah said there were cases where Indian pupils missed getting straight As in public examinations because of their failure to obtain a distinction for the English language.

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