Monday, January 27, 2014

Salceda urges Albay students to prepare for National Achievement Test
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 26 (PNA) -– With only 39 days to go, Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda on Sunday urged Albay students to prepare for the National Achievement Test (NAT) which starts on March 5 for fourth year secondary students.

The examination date for elementary, Grade III, is March 11, while for elementary, Grade VI, the schedule is March 13.

“We have 39 days from now to prepare for the NAT where our ranking has been designated as a socially desirable goal of the entire province,” Salceda said.

He noted that in 2007, Albay Division ranked 177th out of 183 divisions, “so we decided to implement robust measures to correct it and more than that, to work for a goal.”

The first step the provincial government did was to establish the Provincial Education Department, which is solely dedicated to education and the first and only one of its kind in the entire country.

“Education is now the biggest item in the entire provincial budget – accounting for 24 percent,” the provincial chief executive said.

With the capacity of PED, he said, the provincial government launched and sustained various programs, including giving recognition and financial rewards to schools and their General Parents-Teachers Associations.

These awards are being given during the “Titser’s Nyt” of the Daragang Magayon Festival.

“We have launched Kadunong for local government units, BAKAS for barangays and other programs as well as lobbied quite successfully with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for higher 4P coverage from 11,000 in 2010 to 76,000 in 2013 to combat the impact of malnutrition on student performance and participation,” Salceda said.

Thus, he proudly noted, from 2007’s 177th place in NAT, Albay ranked 19th in 2011 but slipped to 29 in 2012.

“But we remain confident that we will achieve our goal of being in Top 20 by 2014 and Top 10 by 2016. We cannot do it alone, we need the support and prayers of everyone in this regard,” the Albay governor, a product of educators – both his parents being public school teachers, said.

Looking forward, he said, “I know that the future success of our people is significantly determined by our performance in school and the behavior of our educational system.”

When asked what he would consider to be his greatest achievement or highest legacy of his administration, he said his answer is simple: improving Albay’s NAT standing from 177th to Top 10, because that makes Albay the bastion of education in Luzon. (PNA) CTB/FGS/CBD/RSM