SCHOOL YEAR 2023-2024
JULY 3, 2023

ITEC President Dr. Lucia Subaldo, Members of the ITEC BOT, my colleagues in the Executive Council, teachers and staff, guests – a pleasant morning to all.

The school year 2022 – 2023 will remain in our personal and collective memory as a time of learning new things. The confusion caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic allowed all of us to come to terms with our vulnerability as we struggle with grit and resilience to cope with the changes around us. With the volatile environment we continue to live in, many of us present here today would agree with me that it was only with God’s grace that we were able to rise above:

  • the daily struggles in the execution of  the three learning modalities (BOOM, SOAR and RISE); 
  • the never-ending mental health issues affecting  our students and their families, notwithstanding our own fears and anxieties; 
  • the unpleasant effects of social media in our students 
  • the aggravating socio- political issues in our country and, 
  •  the puzzling orientations from our leaders on the status and direction of our educational system. 

Didn’t we even come to a point where we simply uttered with a deep sense of helplessness: Dear God, your grace is enough for me. 

Also during the entire year, we have had several occasions of an open exchange and respectful listening that broadened our vision, strengthened our capacity to be compassionate and understanding of each other, coupled with the humble acceptance of our limitations.

Today, we are starting another school year with a clear direction to journey together.  By reformulating our Vision-Mission, we chose the path of becoming: 

an inclusive learning community of persons creating impact in society

Though it is a long term task, how to arrive at becoming ‘an inclusive learning community’ is a synodal journey we all have to embark on. Following the process of collective construction, every member of the Povedan community shall be invited to give their insights,  which later shall be put together into a common understanding of the conceptual goal  then create the sign posts that will lead us to the attainment of our Vision. 

Our inspiration is derived from the very example of Jesus who sought out and welcomed all peoples into God’s kingdom: the lepers, the adulteress, the pharisees and tax collectors, etc. inviting everyone to be part of an ‘open table fellowship’. In his time, Pedro Poveda labored for the reintegration of all people in society welcoming everyone and ensuring that all may have equal opportunities to have a dignified life.

As members of the Povedan family, we are women and men who embrace St. Pedro Poveda’s educational project that focuses on the whole person and the different aspects of human growth.   We are a people who wish to be identified with Poveda’s dream.  As a result, we chose this educational institution, as the place where we can fulfill our individual aspiration to serve God and humanity. As such we are called to create a holistic environment that breeds mutual respect, hospitality and warmth.  Each person is welcome, not so much for what he or she has or can give, but for who he or she is.  Thus all our efforts to  achieve our Vision go beyond mere compliance of RA 11560 or the Inclusive Education Act.  Dito sa Poveda, pinahahalagahan natin ang TAO, higit sa lahat, pati na ang iba’t ibang aspeto ng kanyang paglago at pag-unlad. Naniniwala ako na pinili ninyo ang POVEDA dahil ito ang lugar kung saan makapaglilingkod kayo sa Diyos at sa buong sambayanan. Samakatuwid lahat tayo ay tinawag ng Diyos upang lumikha ng isang kapaligiran kung saan namamayani ang respeto, mainit at malugod na pagtanggap at pagpapatuloy sa LAHAT. Tinatanggap at niyayakap natin ang bawat isa hindi dahil sa kung anong pwede niyang ibigay kung hindi dahil sa kung ano at sino siya. Kaya naman ang lahat ng ating pagsisikap na maabot ang ating pinapangarap o “vision” ay higit pa sa pagtupad sa RA 11560 (Inclusive Education Act).

As we continue to innovate our PEP, let us also try to sort out how its principles, plans and strategies are aligned with Inclusion. In doing so, we shall identify what good practices to retain and take courage to change those that are no longer valid and relevant.  Moreover, we can look into how the new insights we have gathered from the different seminars we attended could enrich our PEP towards the academic excellence we desire for our students. The HRMDO shall continue to promote the professional updating of the teachers and staff through in-house training as well as attendance in off-campus seminars and conferences, to equip them with new learnings and skills. 

We should pursue the planned process of change in SHS that will lead to the effectiveness of our program delivery and students’ learning experiences. Does our SHS curriculum make possible the alignment of the strand our students choose with their preferred course in college? Do the subjects we offer shape their skills and talents, thus lessening course mismatch? These are just sample questions we might have to ask ourselves as we thoroughly review our six-year experience of the SHS.

We also would like to venture into internationalization of our curricular offerings: 

  • Respond to the invitation of the Spanish Ministry of Education to be a member of the International Academies of Spain. It is a program that integrates Spanish in the subject areas. To jumpstart the program, we initiated conversations with the representative of the Spanish Embassy, professors of Spanish universities who are experts in the field of integrating a second language in the curriculum and some heads of schools who are already members of the organization therefore sharing their experiences with us. We have tapped the collaboration of Poveda teachers who are studying Spanish and are now in the level that qualifies them to be part of the program.
  • From the Greenville High School Philadelphia, USA we have accepted their invitation to a partnership where POVEDA can enhance its curriculum with subjects offered in Greenville HS for our school to qualify in issuing a diploma as a graduate of an American high school. There is an ongoing communication with Greenville High School and we hope documents are in place to forge this partnership soon.

The adoption of Restorative Practice is also an interesting aspect that we have to pay attention to. The Executive Council is keen on providing our teachers and employees with the most appropriate training to enable us to manage different behavioral cases with approaches that lead to positive growth.  AcSS-SA is closely looking into the gradual but effective implementation of this laudable approach  that would help each one of us.

We continue to upgrade our facilities to create a more suitable learning environment for our students. Specifically, the IMC-AV room will be converted into an extension of the Library to provide more space for the increasing number of students who frequent this area. Further enhancements will be made to our fetchers card and the introduction of a new visitors pass that will facilitate entry and exit of visitors at the same time safeguarding security.

This school year, our preparation for the 2024 PAASCU visit intensifies and the QA team will lead us through this external audit as well as in the promotion of a culture of research in our school community.

These  challenges come at a time when we are at the threshold of celebrating the 65th year of Poveda in 2025  in the context of the  centenary of the Papal Approval of the Teresian Association in 2024.   At 65, POVEDA does not observe full retirement like all of us do when we end our professional life. As an educational institution it has to sustain the same passion and determination to consistently keep moving forward and catch up with the changes of the times. The 65 fruitful years of handing over to society the giftedness of our graduates calls for a celebration keeping in mind that we are God’s instruments in drawing out the best from every student.  Like the potter who takes a piece of clay and molds it into a vessel, so do we, as we delicately prepare and wrap each gift marked with the distinctive ‘Person for All’ mantra. With this our graduates could be effective influencers in  a morally and spiritually deteriorating society.

The prayer of the year offered to the universal Teresian family by Maite Uribe, President of the Teresian Association, is very timely in our desire to take up the challenges we are facing now. 

The socio-political-economic and educational environment in our country today would need the Christian virtue of Fortitude in good measure. Simply put, we need courage, stamina, endurance and determination to help our students develop strength of character in times of adversity. With a deep foundation in their life of faith, they can face obstacles with patience and determination to stand  up  respectfully when confronted with wrongdoing and injustice. Let us therefore be guided by this year’s prayer: 

May the spirit of wisdom help us to welcome your grace, making us witnesses of fortitude and love.’

‘Patnubayan nawa kami ng Inyong Espiritu ng karunungan, upang kamtin ang Inyong grasya at maging saksi ng katatagan ng loob at pag-ibig.’

“Que tu Espíritu de sabiduría nos ayude a acoger tu gracia, haciéndonos testigos de fortaleza y amor.”

Our journey now begins. Let us count on each other’s love and support  and ask Mary our Mother to be our guiding STAR.

Thank you and may God bless all our efforts.