By MERLINA HERNANDO-MALIPOT
The Department of Education (DepEd) has officially announced that the Region II (Cagayan Valley Region) will be the host of the 2020 National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) and National Festival of Talents (NFOT).
Considered as two of the flagship programs of DepEd, the NSPC and NFOT are among the most anticipated and well-attended events by students coming from all regions nationwide. For this year, over 8,000 delegates from the 17 regions of the country – around 5,000 campus journalists for NSPC and around 3,500 delegates for NFOT – participated in the events.
During the 2018 NSPC and NFOT held recently in Pangasinan, Region 1, this year’s host, officially turned over the banners of the two national events to next year’s host. The Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD) spearheads the NSPC while the Bureau of Learning Delivery-Student Inclusion Division (BLD-SID) leads the NFOT.
Meanwhile, DepEd lauded this year’s winners of the NSPC and NFOT. Issuing a statement, DepEd said that the seventh consecutive year, the CALABARZON was declared the overall champion of the NSPC held in Lingayen, Pangasinan from January 28 to February 1. Region III (Central Luzon) was the first runner-up, followed by the National Capital Region (NCR), Region V (Bicol Region), and Region I (Ilocos Region).
DepEd noted that the overall winning regions were determined based on their scores in individual and group contests including news, features, editorial, sports; copyreading and headline writing; Science & Technology writing; photojournalism; editorial cartooning; radio and TV scriptwriting and broadcasting; collaborative desktop publishing; and online publishing. The outstanding campus journalists and school paper advisers in the national and regional levels were also given recognition in a separate awarding ceremony held on January 31.
For the 2018 NFOT, the NCR seized the championship held at in Dagupan City, also in Pangasinan, on the same dates. DepEd said that Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN) won first runner-up, followed by Region I, Region XI (Davao Region), and Region V.
The 2018 NFOT winners were determined from the total points garnered from various exhibition areas including Technolympics for Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Education, with contests on Industrial Arts (IA), Home Economics (HE), Agri-Fishery Arts (AFA), Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and Entrepreneurship; Sining Tanghalan for Music and Arts; National Population Development for Social Studies (Araling Panlipunan); Pambansang Tagisan ng Talento sa Filipino; and language skills competitions (Special Program in Foreign Language) which includes Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, French, Arabic, Braille, and sign languages.
Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Manila (RCM) also co-sponsored the Nationwide Song Writing and Choral Competition held on January 29 wherein five regions were chosen to compete in the grand finals during the RCM’s centennial anniversary in June.
During the closing ceremonies, DepEd Undersecretary Lorna Dig Dino and Assistant Secretary Alma Ruby Torio expressed their gratitude to Region I which was led by Director Malcolm Garma and to the host divisions, Pangasinan I and Dagupan City, led by Schools Division Superintendents Maria Celia Fernandez and Lorna Bugayong, respectively.
DepEd also thanked the local government for their continued support to the programs, projects, and activities of the department.