SPED 2023 Day Camp

After a long pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute of Human Kinetics (IHK) brought back one of their most anticipated initiatives geared towards providing services and fun-filled learning activities for children with special needs.

UNESCO defines Special Education (SPED) as an education designed to facilitate the learning of individuals who, for a wide variety of reasons, require additional support and adaptive pedagogical methods in order to participate and meet learning objectives in an educational program.

To cater to this kind of sector, SPED-tacular Day Camp was held on December 4, 2023, which is both an extension activity of IHK and a culmination program of SPED 117 class (Foundation of Special and Inclusive Education).


SPED 117 is a required undergraduate subject of the students of the Bachelor of Culture and Arts Education (BCAEd) and the Bachelor of Physical Education (BPEd).

A total of 75 pupils from Baybay North Central School (BNCS) SPED Center were the main recipients of this program that included interactive games, community dancing, and engaging arts workshops that was held for one full day at the VSU Gymnatorium.

In the whole province of Leyte, there are only 5 public elementary schools that have been jointly designated by the National Council on Disability Affairs and the Department of Education (DepEd) as SPED Centers that provide individualized instruction for students with various disabilities ranging from vision and speech impairments to autism.

BNCS SPED Center is the only institution serving the needs of the entire Western Leyte that has been equipped with professional teachers who can handle this type of specialized service.


The day commenced with a modified group game that took inspiration from a popular American Series called ‘The Amazing Race’ where children were allowed to showcase their talents and skills in performing different tasks including solving some puzzles that made the kids collaborate with their co-learners.

Rev. Fr. Gary Nelson L. Esguerra served as the keynote speaker of the event wherein he emphasized the importance of providing equitable educational opportunities for all sectors especially for marginalized communities like children with special needs.

“We need to ensure that no children shall be left behind that’s why I’m very happy that events like this are done by the university to serve an important sector that focuses on the specialized needs of children with disabilities,” the Fr. Esguerra said.

According to the IHK Director, Dr. Charis L. Limbo-Rivera, the SPED Day Camp was a brainchild of the current Vice President for Student Affairs and Services (OVPSAS), Dr. Aleli A. Villocino.

“We really owed it to Ma’am Aleli for initiating noteworthy activities like this one to provide us at IHK with a development-oriented extension program while also allowing our students to apply what they learned in their SPED 117 class,” Dr. Limbo-Rivera explained.


Vice President Villocino was recognized by the Department of Education (DepEd) Baybay City Division as one of the recipients of the Gawad Samaritan Award in 2021 because of her pioneering efforts to provide services to children with special needs.

For more than a decade now, she has been an advocate for inclusive education by means of providing opportunities for children with special needs, bringing to life this annual gathering called SPED Day Camp.

For the return of this event after the pandemic, BNCS SPED Center students were treated with community dancing, interactive games, and one-on-one arts workshops that were facilitated mainly by VSU students and their cooperating IHK faculty members.

This event was complemented with an exhibit of student outputs of the SPED 117 class that was opened for public viewing at the second floor of the College of Education Building on December 13, 2023.


This exhibit featured a visual display of instructional materials showcasing the creativity and diversity of learners. 

Interactive games, puzzles, brain teasers, and simulations were also made available at the different booths, while a gallery-style presentation of different kinds of disabilities were also presented to the public to keep them aware of the challenges and opportunities in providing special education in the Philippines.

[With reports from Michael Nemezo. All photos are courtesy of the Amaranth, the official student media organization of the Visayas State University.]

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