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09 February 2015

Birth of STAR. University heads show their signed memorandum of understanding as partners for the Science Teacher Academy for the Regions (STAR). (Lower row, from left to right) Dr. Faye Lea Patricia Lauraya, President of Bicol University; Dr. Ruben Sevilleja, President of Central Luzon State University; Dr. Eliza Samson, representing Dr. Miriam Pascua, President of Mariano Marcos State University; Dr. Ester B. Ogena, President of Philippine Normal University; Dr. Josette T. Biyo, Director, Science Education Institute; Dr. Macabangkit Ati, Vice President for Planning and Development of the Mindanao State University System and Dr. Hilda Montaño representing Dr. Luis Sorolla, President of Western Visayas State University.

In a bid to accelerate the development of innovative teachers across the nation, the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), in partnership with six universities, trained 250 science and mathematics teacher trainers to prepare them for the implementation of the K-12 curriculum. 

Dubbed Science Teacher Academy for the Regions (STAR), the project seeks to provide an organized scheme of innovative trainings in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

DOST-SEI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bicol University, Central Luzon State University, Mariano Marcos State University, Philippine Normal University, Western Visayas State University, and Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology for the training of 50 in-service science and mathematics teacher trainers per university on the latest innovations in teaching. 

To date, Bicol University, Western Visayas State University, Central Luzon State University, Mariano Marcos State University, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, have trained 250 mathematics teacher trainers on teaching elementary mathematics through problem solving. 

DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo expressed optimism that the STAR project will boost teaching of science and mathematics in the country as it transitions to the K-12 curriculum. 

STARs at work. Elementary mathematics teachers from Region V try out a problem solving technique during their training under the Science Teacher Academy for the Regions (STAR).

“The emergence of new technologies is changing the learning experience of our children. Thus, it stands to reason that we need to constantly find new and creative ways to engage and motivate our students to ensure effective learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” she said. 

Biyo also expressed confidence that STAR will be very timely in the transition to the K-12 curriculum. 

“We know that one of the goals of the science and math curriculum is to develop the critical and analytical thinking skills of students. STAR therefore is our response to this curriculum change by offering an organized scheme of innovative trainings in STEM education to teachers around the country,” said Biyo. 

Biyo disclosed that the next phase of the project will be to train science teachers on inquiry-based learning on science. 

She said after training the teacher trainers, the same training will be cascaded to the teachers of each region. (30)