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The Learning curve

Improving teaching resources in public schools

When the call for submissions to the National Book Development Board Trust Fund (NBDTF) was first made in 2011 and the succeeding years after, the specified topics were for science and technology, and local history and culture.   Literature in a specified Philippine language on a rotation basis was eventually added.

We have received a total of 189 submissions since its inception and have given 56 grants to date, of which only eight  have been published titles.  Considering the time it takes to research, write and revise a few  times over based on the input of the advisory committee readers, and then to pitch to a publisher,  these eight books and their publishers are worthy of mention in the chronology of publication, from 2014 to 2017:

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“Kasaysayan at Vulnerabilidad: Ang Kabihasnan at Lipunang Pilipino sa Harap ng Pananalanta ng Balang, 1569-1949” by Ma. Florina Orillos-Juan, De La Salle University Press, Manila; “On the Night of Sendong” by  Lilian C. de la Peña,  Capitol University Press, Cagayan de Oro;      “Histories in Memories:  Remembering the July 16, 1990 Earthquake” by Anna Christie V. Torres, Cordillera Studies Center, Baguio City; “Traditional Medicines in Colonial Philippines, 16th to the 19th Century” by Ma. Mercedes G. Planta,  University of

the Philippines Press, Quezon City; “Panangsapul Iti Puraw A Kabalio” (The Search for the White Horse) by Ariel Tabag,  Saniata Publications, Quezon City;  “A Field Guide to Flight: Identifying Birds on Three School Grounds” by Amado  C.  Bajarias Jr., Ateneo de Manila University Press, Quezon City;  “Short Stories of Women in Science” by  Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo,  Bookmark, Makati;  “Kalinawa” (Wellness or Success)  by Hermilinda Bulong, Saniata Publications, Quezon City.  Here’s to all other manuscripts about to be published!

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The NBDB is happy to note that Bajarias’  “A Field Guide to Flight: Identifying Birds on Three School Grounds” won the National Book Award for Science in 2017, while Planta’s “Traditional Medicines in Colonial Philippines, 16th to the 19th Century” was the featured book in the Interdisciplinary Book Forum of the UP Institute of Creative Writing and the UP Press last year with panelists Dr. Ma. Luisa Camagay, Dr. Victor Paz of the UP Archaeological Studies Program, and Dr. Salvador Caoili of the UP Manila College of Medicine, with UP vice president for public affairs Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. as moderator. The book has also been published by the National University of Singapore Press.

The present call for supplementary materials to be used in the Department of Education’s  K-to-12 curriculum was decided during the board meetings and done after consultation with George D. Paguio, senior education program specialist  of the DepEd’s Bureau of Leaning Resources.  Knowing the many needs of the DepEd, this was an area that the NBDB felt would be of help.  It sought the advice of the DepEd on which particular areas of study have a lack of supplementary materials.

The choice of languages to focus on—Waray, Meranaw, Kapampangan, Magindanawon, and Tausug—was based on the DepEd’s list  of 19 major Philippine languages in its mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) adopted after Order No. 16, s. 2012.  The choice of five was in turn based on Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino’s graph of about 15-20 major languages used in the country. The NBDB chose those widely spoken but are scarcely used in textbooks and supplementary materials.

This is a special call to all those with the expertise and the deep interest to improve the quality of curriculum materials of the public schools.  Writers must be registered with the NBDB and may opt to make multiple submissions for as long as they can comply with the given time frame. The deadlines of July 31 for supplementary materials in the mother tongue for Grades 1-3, and Sept. 30 for all other supplementary materials in English and Filipino for other grade levels   require that at least 25 percent of the manuscripts are completed.  Also to be submitted are: “a  project proposal with project objectives; proposed scope of work (i.e., table of contents); timeline; budget and resources; and other relevant information supporting the author’s capacity to undertake the project.”

For more information, visit http://booksphilippines.gov.ph/call-for-manuscript-submissions-national-book-development-trust-fund-nbdtf

Neni Sta. Romana Cruz (nenisrcruz@gmail.com) is chair of the National Book Development Board and a member of the Eggie Apostol Foundation.

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