City of San Fernando, Pampanga—Teacher Lea Orseno, who took the job as a Private School Special Education (SPED) teacher in 2002 by chance, says it’s her love for children with special needs that has nurtured her dedication to continue serving as a SPED teacher for 18 years now.

In 2011, when she was transferred at the Concepcion Special Education Center in Tarlac, Teacher Lea was first assigned to teach Special Science classes but later requested to handle SPED students. Through the years, she adds that she has dealt with students with visual and hearing impairments, autism, down syndrome, and other intellectual disabilities.

“Everyday, there are new experiences because they have different behaviors. Being in the field of SPED teaching for this long, I have come to love this job because I truly care for my students,” explains Teacher Lea.

She is one of 255 SPED teachers in Central Luzon who participated in the Online Capacity Building of SPED Teachers on dealing with Learners with Special Education Needs (LSENs)

Using Flexible and Blended Leaming Approaches conducted by the Curriculum and Learning Management Division (CLMD) of the Department of Regional Office III on June 10-11, 2020 (1st Batch), June 15-16, 2020 (2nd Batch), and June 18-19, 2020 (3rd Batch).

The online training aims to capacitate SPED teachers to effectively select and use learning tools that are beneficial to LSENs in finding and processing information, constructing knowledge, collaborating with peers, expressing understanding, and evaluating learning effects in concrete ways; adapt learning materials to the needs of LSENs; and provide appropriate online support for LSENs to contribute to their inclusive online experiences.

“The training held was so timely and very relevant in our so-called new normal situation. The training gave us new learnings and clarifications on some issues. The organizers really did a great job on this one because of the positive response of the participants,” said Teacher Lea.

DepEd (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones assured that in the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) crafted by the Department, these students are also given priority and that their specific needs would be addressed to assure that they will not be left further behind.

“This is very challenging because even before COVID, there are already challenges in education for children with special needs. This is why we are pushing that the services of offered by these schools can be expanded so they can reach more,” Secretary Briones added.

As of June 22, there are already 4,388 SPED students who have enrolled in public schools offering Special Education in Region III.l