The Benilde Deaf School (BDS), a junior and senior high school exclusively devoted for deaf students from Grades 7 to 12, has recently opened its doors who require special deaf-centric education.
The institution follows the Department of Education (DepEd) curriculum with enhancements to make the subjects bilingual and bicultural, such as Deaf Studies and Filipino Sign Language (FSL).
“We are under the DepEd, we are compliant with the K-12 curriculum. We have the same subjects. We are using the regular curriculum because we have to go through the grades so the students will meet the requirements to enroll on tertiary level,” said BDS Principal May Cabutihan, PhD.
The school collaborates closely with the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Center for Education Access and Development through research, assessment and training in the areas of teaching, learning, language development, deaf culture and identity advocacy to ensure school personnel understand these topics.
“It will become a model school for the Deaf education here in the country. After graduation, they will be able to access different colleges,” said Cabutihan.
“Each student is unique. They have different learning styles and prior knowledge. The challenge is to teach students with various cognitive levels. It is very rewarding to see the faces of the students when they understand the lessons. That’s what makes us happy,” she added.
The BDS was launched through a partnership between the Nippon Foundation of Japan, a non-profit philanthropic organization which acts as a hub for social innovation and the Pre-College Education Network, which aims to support young deaf students through their network of faculty and administrators.