No business and industry sector, including the educational system has been spared by the impact of COVID19. With nearly 27 million of learners expected to go back to school in August, as announced by the Department of Education, BounceBackPH, through BounceBack Academy organized its first education-centric webinar entitled, “Education in the New Normal.” This webinar brought together resource persons from across the educational system to share ideas and inputs that can help the country’s learners bounce back as schools face the new normal.
As schools are scheduled to open in August 24, Alain Pascua, Undersecretary for Administration at the Department of Education says, “DepEd will take into consideration the minimum standards to be set by IATF and Department of Health for the resumption of classes. This includes all quarantine protocols.” He explained that there are also non-negotiable requirements that need to be defined before administrators, teachers and students return to school. These includes potable water, disinfection equipment, hand-washing facilities and temperature devices. “We also need to prepare PPEs, health and hygiene kits,” adds Pascua. “We also need to build clinics and quarantine facilities. Only about 20% of schools have clinics. All these eat up budget.”
Using technology and innovation
Aside from updating facilities, alternative learning modalities also need to be factored into the new normal. Aileen Apollo-de Jesus, Senior Program Manager, Google for Education, Asia Pacific, “Google Classroom and Google Meets are free platforms that we provide for schools to use and has hosted webinars for teachers to help manage distance learning.”
At present, the DepEd is exploring various platforms, processes and partnerships to face the new normal. These includes partnerships with local broadcast stations, door-to-door delivery of worksheets and take-home learning activity sheets. “We also need to enhance our own learning platforms like DepEd Commons and ICT4ALS,” adds Pascua. ICT4ALS is a learning portal with activity sheets, resources and tutorials for ALS (Alternative Learning System) teachers and learners. He said that not all learners have access to the internet or mobile phones. DepEd also enjoins all teachers and learners to use its online content repository, the DepEd Commons and mentions that regular official DepEd webinars on eLearning are also being conducted by the EdTech Unit.
BounceBack Academy has lined up a series of webinars. “This is why we started the BounceBack Academy, so we can provide a venue for everyone to learn from each other, especially experts in various industries,” says dela Rosa. Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, President and Founding Partner of Rags2Riches, Inc. will talk about “Managing Cashflow with Excel Worksheets” on May 8, 3pm.
Also on May 8, 4.30pm, Rosanna Urdaneta, Deputy Director General for Policies and Planning of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Edicio dela Torre, Vice Chair of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM); Mylene Abiva, the premier Philippine Robotics advocate and President of the Women Business Council of the Philippines; and Henry Tenedero, former President of the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA) will discuss “Life Skills, Lifelong Learning and Tech Vocation in the New Normal”. The event will be moderated by BounceBackPH Co-Founder, Nato Agbayani.
Dela Rosa summarizes that technology is an an integral platform of BounceBack Academy in sharing ideas among stakeholders in the educational system.
BounceBack Academy is an informal virtual learning space of the BounceBackPH Movement. Through social learning, it provides webinars and other online learning events for those who need guidance on how to endure and recover towards the new normal. Participation is free and voluntary. All panelists and speakers are also volunteers.
To attend these webinars, look for BounceBackPH Official on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BounceBackPH/