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Philosophy and Objectives


The Notre Dame University - Elementary Training Department, an integral part of NDU, a catholic, co-educational institution, situated in the pluralistic/diverse culture of Cotabato City, offers formal elementary education. 

The NDU-ETD believes that the child is a holistic person with a God-given freedom and dignity. Endowed with varied inherent talents, this child can become a responsible, compassionate and committed pupil and citizen of the republic. 

Moreover, the NDU-ETD holds on to the core values of truth, justice, love and peace. In the light of its philosophy, the NDU-ETD seriously and proactively directs the accomplishment of the goals by providing, delivering and pursuing a balanced curriculum that will develop the varied innate capacities of the learner as he/she relates with life’s realities.



In the light of its philosophy, the NDU-ETD seriously and proactively directs the accomplishment of the goals by providing, delivering and pursuing a balanced curriculum that will develop the varied innate capacities of the learner as he/she relates with life’s realities.

        Specifically, the NDU-ETD intends to:

  • Develop critical thinking in the child as he/she is confronted with the complex world of information;
  • inculcate in the child the core values which will guide him/her as he/she lives life to the full;
  • afford the child opportunities/experiences to manifest respect, openness, cooperation, solidarity, and harmony with people of different beliefs and love of country;
  • Translate knowledge, skills and attitudes into action through dedicated service.


History of NDU-ETD

The Notre Dame University Elementary Training Department (NDU-ETD) was founded in 1954 as a laboratory school for students of the Teacher Training College of the University. At the time of its opening, there were only two other private elementary school in the city - one was also a Catholic school but admitting only girls while the other catered primarily to pupils of Chinese parentage or extraction.

Several years after its opening, the enrollment was deliberately kept low in order for the school to better serve its function as a laboratory school. Enrollment was initially limited to boys. However, because of its ties with the University which allowed the school to avail of university resources, personnel and otherwise, for the improvement of instruction; its reputation as a quality elementary school soon came to be of general acceptance. Parents of elementary school age pupils exerted pressure on the school to expand its enrollment.

In response to parent's pressure, girls were admitted in school year 1978. More sections were opened in lower grades starting school year 1980. Kindergarten classes were opened in 1986. Various strategies were adopted by the administration to try to make do with a limited physical plant. However, as more sections were correspondingly opened in the higher grades, temporary stopgap measures to meet the physical plant requirement of the expanded enrollment were no longer possible.

Starting school year 1987. the school administration embarked on a program of extension of the physical plant. In this endeavor, the Parents - Teachers Association (NOPTAN) firmly backed the administration with financial and other types of support. From the original eight classrooms, the school has now 30 classrooms.

Today the ETD has an enrollment of about 1,100 pupils, 36 faculty members, six working staff, a school physician, two school nurses, a guidance counselor, two kinder aides and two janitors. It offers Nursery, Kindergarten I and II and complete elementary education.

The NDU-ETD provides opportunity for Cotabato City children and the nearby areas to acquire quality elementary education. This education has enabled many of its pupils to emerge as winners in academic and non-academic contests not only in the city but also at the regional and national levels and a number of its graduates to qualify for admission to prestigious high schools.

The school puts very strong emphasis in its religious and value education program. This program is implemented in both within and outside the academic programs. This is a major reason for parents enrolling their children in the school. Religion classes are conducted not only for Catholics but also for Muslims. About 48% of the school population are Muslims. For the benefit of the latter, the school employs Islamic teachers.

The pupil population of the school represents not only children belonging to different religious religious groups but also children coming from different cultural milieu and different socio-economic background. Although the school collects tuition fees, there are a considerable number of pupils belonging to the low income group who enrolled despite the fact that free elementary education can be obtained in public school. There are pupils, coming from the highland tribal groups, the different Muslim ethnic groups, and the different lowland Christian Filipino groups.

The above described school population provides the setting for the strong values and peace education programs of the school. The school hopes that the understanding, the concern of each other, the friendship fostered among the pupils during their elementary school days will continue after graduation. This has been the case for many of its alumni who have, in many occasions, helped in defusing potnetial conflict situations among various groups as they emerged as persons of influence in the said groups.


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