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The Department of Education promotes heritage schools.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has established Gabaldon Schoolhouses Day on the 20th of December to enhance awareness and appreciation of Gabaldon schoolhouses and other heritage buildings throughout the country.

The strategy is based on the Republic Act (RA) 11194, also known as the Gabaldon School Buildings Conservation Act, which strives to conserve the architectural, historical, and social value of these historic buildings.

Gabaldon and other heritage school buildings, as witnesses to historical events and personalities, played a pioneering role in the formation of the Philippine public school system, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said in a statement on Thursday.

She acknowledged the need to step up efforts to take a more proactive role in heritage school conservation and restoration across the country.

“The Gabaldon Schoolhouses are forerunners and treasures of Philippine education,” Briones said. “It goes without saying that this is no easy feat, and we urge on everyone to help and support this initiative.”

According to RA 11194’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), DepEd will implement a program for the identification and conservation of all Gabaldon School Buildings nationwide in consultation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), and the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP).

The Education Facilities Division (EFD) of the Department of Education will compile a list of schools that will be designated as Gabaldon School Buildings or Heritage School Buildings.

DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del B. Pascua stressed the need of rehabilitating heritage school buildings during the national declaration of the Gabaldon Schoolhouses Day Celebration in Agno Central School in Pangasinan.

“By recreating and placing all of the data pa niyang features together in the process of physically restoring them, nire-restore din natin yung relationship natin sa history.” Yung link ng mga bata sa kasaysayan nung kanilang mga Gabaldon schoolhouses (we also restore their historical significance). Pascua described the students’ link to the history of their Gabaldon schoolhouses.

The Education department’s Office of the Undersecretary for Administration (OUA) and Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations (OUFO) will plan programs, activities, and events to commemorate Gabaldon Heritage Week, which will take place from December 1 to December 20.

“We are definitely going to repaint the freshly restored Gabaldon this year or next year, all 300 of them na iisa ang kulay” (in one and the same color). Second, Pangalawa is working on a construction guidebook as well as a restoration and conservation manual. Pangatlo (thirdly), a coffee table book on newly restored historical Gabaldon with historical national significance, as well as paglalagay ng historical and conservation markers para alam ng lahat ng estudyante at mabasa nila yung historical significance nung mga nire-restore natin (placing historical and conservation markers so that all students will know and read about the historical significance of those that we restore), Pascua noted in his message.

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