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Freitag, 14.08.2020
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

Recent reports show that of the 28 million students targeted for K-12 public and private schools, only 15.9 million had enrolled by the end of the month-long online enrollment. This meant that it was 12 million short of the target set by the Department of Education. We can infer several reasons for this decrease, namely, family upheavals caused by the pandemic, uncertainty with the unfamiliar terrain of “distance learning,” and the great “divide” between families living in the urban and rural areas, the latter, preferring the traditional system.

COVID-19 did not give enough time for school authorities to shift gears to a new delivery system. We were still busy ensuring that “no pupil is left behind,” thus focusing on reaching drop-outs by motivating them to return to formal schooling through economic assistance as well as challenging catch-up learning packages. This alternative learning approach must now shift to the design of distance learning schemes.

But like ongoing strategies in the traditional system where curriculum prototypes or templates are adapted according to the varied needs of our diverse populations, distance education must likewise be tailored to suit the various socio-cultural profiles of our learning population. I am sure DepEd is doing that but this may take time. Unfortunately, the show must go on, and DepEd must now need to act to current exigencies.

During the ongoing preparation of learning modules, retraining of teachers, and adopting new methodologies and new delivery systems which have been going on for sometime, we hope that those in charge of this monumental task would look back to examine related experiences.

These include use of radio for instruction at the Department of Education and the Ateneo-Maryknoll-Metropolitan Educational Television use of TV for secondary schools in the early sixties, EDPITAF, and SEAMEO INNOTECH (a Southeast Asian center for educational innovations) which began in the 70’s, as well as those of various colleges (UP Open University and various state and private universities) and special applications in health, agriculture and rural development, governance, etc., in the 80’s to early 2000’s).

The Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), with the assistance of UNESCO, Intel, and Microsoft, convened several workshops and forums on information and communication technology and education and came out with publications, among them, “A Reader on Information and Communication Technology Planning for Development” (1998, 1st ed), and 2nd ed. 2007). In these two volumes, and especially the 2nd one, various planners in ICT, educators, and social scientists published policy papers and case studies. These included issues such as policy and digital learning environment, socio-cultural, political, legal, ethical aspects of ICT, and most important, they describe the existing “digital divide” and nature of “public domain” and “open source” information.

Among the more useful background papers are case studies on application in education, e-governance, initiatives of CICT (now DICT or Department of Information and Communication Technology) consisting of community e-centers (CECs), I Schools, ICT blueprint for SMEs, and the Philippine Cyberservices Corridor; which are useful references for planners in Distance Education and ICT for development.

OPOU President and pioneer of digital learning Felix Librero, Intel and Microsoft Partners in Learning Team provide the problems, prospects and experiences on how to make Filipino teachers and students digitally literate, and how to use public domain information and integrated learning solutions; applications in Telehealth and Linking Primary Care and Public Health Information and experiments in e-governance in Sampaloc and Antipolo City’s e-government strategy; papers on content development and ICT capacity building in libraries, archives, and information centers; and Text2Teach, an innovation aimed at improving the quality of science education, and several others that have been documented after 2007, should provide a rich resource in teacher training for alternative education. Among the useful background papers on policy are those by former NEDA Secretary, Cielito Habito, former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, Drs. Lourdes Quisumbing, Emmanuel Lallana, and Bernardo Villegas, Virgilio Pena, Daniel Pabellon, Timoteo Diaz de Rivera, Ronald Olivar Solis, Christopher Lim, Robert Verzola, and content development by William Torres and Ramon Tuazon, Sheila Coronel, and UNESCO Asst. Director-General for Communication and Information Abdul Waheed Khan.

AIJC has likewise prepared a Module in Planning Distance Education for teachers with assistance from UNESCO which was prepared together with planners primarily from state universities.

In 2006, Dr. Librero noted, digital learning in the Philippines was introduced six years earlier. It is 2020 now so we have been offering online for 20 years. On the divide, he noted: “We have two sets of problems, one technological, the other, psycho-intellectual or mindset. The infrastructure is there and improving, but people in the countryside still tend to put higher premium on conventional schooling. Schools are largely clustered in urban centers and there are very few if at all in the rural areas. Distance education may actually be the solution to the ineffective and inefficient delivery of quality education to a population widely dispersed over thousands of islands. But there is need for policy makers, teachers, and learners to change their mindsets from a teacher-centered to a learner-centered environment.”

Thus, if our rural learners do not have access to computers or to wifi, or if the learners are more comfortable using traditional technologies, let us use radio or television or other technologies of the so-called “blended learning” – modules accompanied by videos and other audiovisuals.

This is how I explained “constructivism,” or what may be the most critical element in distance education. As a learning theory, it contributes to technology enhanced learning through these principles and processes:

  • Learners bring unique prior knowledge, experience, and beliefs to a learning situation. Students are the stars and their previous understandings are the foundation of what they will learn.
  • Learning is internally mediated to fit their understanding.
  • Knowledge is constructed through a variety of tools, resources, and contexts.
  • Learning is done through observation and real life examples provides preferred learning style, rate of learning and quality of personal interaction.
  • Learning is a cooperative approach involving parents and members of the community. Through dialogue and problem-solving, creative ideas are generated.
  • Learners are given “mind tools” – interactive tools, modelling, simulation, video, etc. They are given choices, construct meanings from facts, learn to ask questions, organize, interpret, analyze, synthesize, self-evaluate.

Finally, let me quote from the Foreword of UNESCO Assistant Director General for Communication and Information Abdul Waheed Khan who paraphrased a quote from Olav Kjorven, state secretary for International Development, Norway: “The hungry cannot eat computers. But neither can they eat plows that are extremely useful tools that help feed the world. ICT are powerful tools in helping us solve basic problems in education, health, nutrition, livelihood, and environment.”


Autor(en)/Author(s): Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid

Quelle/Source: Manila Bulletin, 03.07.2020

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