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Feature: Baguio Teachers Camp revels in its centennial

Baguio City (12 May) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) is marking the hundred years of Baguio Teachers Camp (BTC) with physical enhancements worthy of the 21st century but retaining its reason for being as the center for public school teachers' training and recreation.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus led the BTC grand centennial celebration today with ceremonial declaration of BTC as a National Heritage Site and kicking off with the year-long celebration under the theme: "BTC: Celebrating 100 Years of Educating the Nation.

"This national landmark remained faithful to its institutional and social mandate to serve the needs of our mentors and rightfully so because they were, from the beginning, the target beneficiaries of this centennial institution," said Lapus.

Heritage structures in BTC that went through restoration and rehabilitation were Roxas Hall, Albert Hall, Administration Building, Hernandez Hall, Abada Hall, Superintendents' Quarters and the Executive Cottages.

Also included in the redevelopment plan are the improvement of roads, construction of parking areas, landscaping, construction of rotundas, amphitheatre and museum, and rehabilitation of entrance gates.

Lapus added, "BTC was constructed to serve as the venue to rejuvenate the tired bodies of our teachers as well as inspire their minds with innovative ideas that could well benefit the education profession."

The teachers and the general public can expect BTC to be both familiar and new, according to Assistant Secreatry Jonathan Malaya, who heads the Special Task Force for BTC conservation and rehabilitation. "Our vision is to upgrade the facilities of the Camp, make it first class, without altering its character and status as an academic center and a heritage site of the country," he said.

Malaya added that BTC aspires to create a professionally-managed and well-equipped training and conference venue to address the training needs of teachers in support of Education for All.

"We have to upgrade the facilities so that the camp continues to be an excellent venue for teacher training and recreation for the next 100 years," Malaya elaborated.

Other activities line up for the revelry are grand parade, re-enactment of BTC foundation, inauguration of the BTC Museum, a concert for teachers, an academic conference, a Search for the Model Teacher of the Year, and the National High School Debating Championships.

BTC's centennial celebration will culminate with the Educators' Congress in December.

BTC currently receives an annual subsidy of P10 Million from DepEd for operations. Secretary Lapus has directed the Special Task Force to make recommendations on improving the Camp's fiscal position so that it will no longer need subsidy from DepEd.

The Department has also embarked on a training program for employees in partnership with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) to improve service to guests and visitors. DAP has also been tapped to develop a quality management system for the BTC so that it can become eligible for ISO 9001:2000 certification.

As BTC takes on the role of center of culture and arts of the North, DepEd has commissioned the UP Redevelopment Volunteers and the Heritage Conservation Society led by Dr. Ambeth Ocampo for the drafting of a Master Redevelopment Plan. (DepEd) [top]

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