Applied Academics for Excellence (APEX) is an exciting innovation in teaching and learning that connects students’ learning to the development goals of the community. It prepares the youth academically and technically to pursue post-secondary education and a career or enterprise of choice by exposing them to relevant curriculum, interactive activities and real life applications. It aims to improve the job and livelihood prospects of high school students by developing their basic workplace and entrepreneurial competencies using the workplace, world of business and the community as the context for learning and doing.
The APEX Models
A. Laguna Model – APEX has been implemented in Region IV-A as a local government project that aims to enhance the quality of education in public secondary schools where the number of students per class ranged from 70-100 students. APEX has proven that its system was an effective solution that provides quality classroom instruction in a school with high teacher-student ratio while at the same time, creates higher academic achievement for students and gratification from academic teachers and technical- vocational instructors. APEX was implemented in five (5) secondary schools the municipalities of San Pedro, Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao, Calamba and Binan, Laguna.
B. Leyte Model – APEX has been introduced in Region VIII with a new structural framework as deemed more substantive to be implemented in the region due to its socio-economic condition, which is closely attached to its socio-cultural practices and values i.e. dominantly agricultural-based economy. The implementation of APEX in Leyte proved that public secondary schools through their leadership could assume a highly productive role in engaging the local government and other key stakeholders in the overall framework of producing academically trained and business-oriented high school graduates that will form a new generation of entrepreneurs and business owners. APEX was implemented in eight (8) secondary schools in the municipalities of Alang-Alang, Baybay, Dulag, Isabel, Kananga, Matlang, Ormoc City, Tanauan City.
C. Cebu Model – With the progressing successes and overwhelming experiences of Project APEX in Laguna and Leyte, APEX was introduced with a more dynamic structural framework in Region VII combining the academic, workplace, technical and entrepreneurial models due to the varied socio-economic nature and conditions of communities that the schools are serving. The new APEX Model, with a more enhanced program of innovation has proven its unique features as an educational innovation that could be integrated and suits-in in the public secondary school system without altering the existing structure and delivery framework of the basic educational system. APEX Cebu Model has eventually transpired the general education high schools into technical – vocational high schools due to the results achieved by school principals, teachers and students, but most of all due to the strong leadership of APEX school administrators in bridging the development gaps between the delivery of education and the kind of graduates that educational institutions are producing by anchoring the delivery of education on the needs of the community. APEX was implemented by SEAMEO INNOTECH in five (5) secondary schools in the municipalities of Consolacion, Naga and cities of Mandaue, Lapu-lapu and Talisay.
D. Semirara Model – The most exciting undertaking of APEX was in Region VI APEX was implemented in the island of Semirara, Antique on which the major livelihood of the people is employment to the Semirara Mining Corporation (SMC) while the rest of them generally generate their family income through farming, fishing and livestock–raising. Unlike in Laguna, Leyte, and Cebu, where the APEX Project sponsors were local government units, in Semirara, APEX is fully funded by a private sector organization, the Semirara Mining Corporation.
APEX Semirara model as a project was a new innovative attempt of SEAMEO INNOTECH to address the specific needs of private and public high schools with regards to improving the academic performance of students in Science, Mathematics and English subjects. APEX as a complete solution was implemented not on its entirety but focuses only on the adoption of one of its key components called “Building the Foundations of Applied Academics” to solve a specific constraint in the delivery of classroom instruction and in improving the quality of the teaching – learning process. APEX was implemented in one private integrated school and two public secondary schools in Semirara.
Project APEX was able to develop Teacher’s Guides on Applied Science and Mathematics, Entrepreneurship Preparation (EntreP), and manuals on School Quality Management through 5S practice, Project Management, Career Preparation (Career Prep) and Technical Preparation (TechPrep) of high school students. All project deliverables have been completed and successfully turned-over to DepED as the principal project beneficiary. Post-project evaluation studies were also done in all project sites and the results of which were appreciated by the Project Steering Committee (PSC) composed of its key stakeholders from the DepED, Local Government Units, PTCA and the business community.
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