Message of Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo Vice President of the Philippines Launching of AkadAsia’s Introduction to Online Teaching
Magandang umaga! Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat. Sa atin pong mga kasama dito sa Zoom virtual launching, sa ating mga kasama sa Facebook Live. Magandang umaga. Good morning to everyone. Thank you to the organizers and to all our partners, especially AkadAsia, for making this training program possible. Thank you for helping us design this program and for your passion for education, making sure that teachers are supported in this transition from face-to-face classes to blended learning. Pinapatunayan po natin na marami tayong nagkakaisa para masigurong tuloy-tuloy ang nakukuhang edukasyon ng mga kabataan natin.
This is also not the first time that we’re working on a project with AkadAsia. Last September, we worked with you, with Thames International and EduRescue, to help teachers adapt to the new ways of connecting with students and facilitating learning, through the Help Educators Rise to Online Education by School Year 2020-2021. Ito po ‘yung tinatawag natin na HEROES 2021 Online Teacher Training Program. We offered this program to public and private school teachers in Pasig, as well as to our Bicolano instructors in DepEd Region V. For two months, a little more than 4,300 teachers benefited from this program.
As we culminated HEROES 2021, both in Pasig and in Bicol, I am very grateful that AkadAsia continued to explore ways of working together with our Office to ensure learning continuity despite the pandemic. Ito nga ‘yung pandemic, sinundan pa ng magkakasunod na mga bagyo. Today’s launching of this exciting new initiative embodies the very philosophy of bayanihan—something that anchors many of our initiatives at the Office of the Vice President.
Teacher training is just part of our menu of Bayanihan e-Skwela initiatives. Ito pong Bayanihan e-Skwela, ito ang programa ng aming opisina, bilang sagot namin sa lahat ng hinaharap na distance learning challenges ng mga guro at mag-aaral natin ngayon.
Nagsimula po kami sa isang gadget donation drive, prompted by the announcement early this year that face-to-face instruction will be suspended. Our office was immediately flooded by requests for gadgets from students, parents, teachers, and schools who did not have access to technology. We decided to work with Kaya Natin, one of our reliable partners, to source donated gadgets that can help address these needs.
But we very quickly realized na hindi lang pala ‘yun ang problema, because gadgets will only take you so far. If we want education to continue even during the pandemic, we have to make sure there is adequate support for the frontlines. So nakipagtulungan po kami with the UP College of Education and volunteer creatives, we produced instructional videos, with useful tips and techniques, to help lighten the load. Puwede niyo po itong ma-access sa Facebook and on YouTube. Pumasok lang po kayo sa Bayanihan e-Skwela, and we have 24 videos for teachers and for parents.
And finally, we have our Community Learning Hubs, na sa mga lugar niyo po meron. This was our answer to the reality that not all homes are conducive for learning, or that not all parents have the time, resource or capacity to teach their kids. Through our Community Learning Hubs, learners from such environments will still have a place to go to access the internet and get tutorial support for their lessons and assignments.
Ngayon po, ‘yung ating mga lugar for Community Learning Hubs, parang nagko-converge tayo for today’s launching. ‘Yung pilot batch po natin for today’s launch are teachers from Aklan where we have Community Learning Hubs; Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental; and Lucena City, in [Quezon]. They will be given access to modules and other reference materials that they can go through on their own time. So walang pressure po, kung kailan kayo libre, saka niyo puwedeng i-access itong modules and learning materials. AkadAsia will be offering sessions as well to support and guide the teachers along the way. AkadAsia has also committed to include our instructional videos in their online platform Freejoo. Freejoo po ang pangalan ng platform ng AkadAsia. You can access the instructional videos there, so that more parents and teachers can benefit from it.
After today’s launching, we will also be offering this training program to all teachers nationwide. So kung meron po ditong hindi kasali sa tatlong lugar na sinabi natin, you can still join the program by sending an email—siguro ipopost natin mamaya—to [email protected] to apply.
All of this is very exciting, and I hope that our teachers will make good use of this resource to enrich themselves and upskill, so that they can be better educators today than yesterday. So sa atin pong participants, ang pakiusap natin: Keep an open mind, take everything in, and when this is over, share what you learned with others.
This pandemic may have turned our worlds upside down and the challenges can be overwhelming, lalo po siguro sa mga teachers na parang na-doble ‘yung trabaho natin ngayon. But we cannot allow ourselves to be paralyzed by it—we have to focus on the tasks in front of us, on sure steps; bridging the gaps, doing what needs to be done, here and now. Para nga po sa akin, totoong mahirap ito for you ngayon, pero baka opportunity rin na parang napabilis, napabilis ‘yung paghabol natin sa digital mode of teaching, na siguro ultimately, magiging madali siya. Mahirap siya ngayong nag-uumpisa tayo, pero magiging madali siya later lalo na ‘pag na-absorb na natin lahat ng lessons.
For us, this means working with different groups and sectors to make sure that no student, no Filipino is left behind. To move forward, we need all hands on deck. Parati po namin itong sinasabi, na hindi po namin ito kaya, hindi niyo rin kaya on your own, hindi rin kaya ng AkadAsia, hindi rin siguro kaya ng parents na nagnanais na… hindi maiwan ang kanilang mga anak. Pero ‘pag tayo po nagtulong-tulong, siguradong mangyayari ang gusto nating mangyari. And we need more of us to do the work, collaborating and innovating more, listening and empowering each other, so that we widen the path for others to follow.
Pero today, I am inspired by everyone’s commitment to our shared advocacy. Ngayon pa lang po nagpapasalamat na kami kasi just doing this, just being part of the program, is proof enough na desidido talaga kayo to be able to be better teachers to our students. Doon nakikita ‘yung passion, doon nakikita ‘yung commitment. And this is what drives our pagbabayanihan, the spirit of collaboration. Because after all, as this pandemic has reminded us, we are all interconnected. And so whether it’s facing the pandemic, reviving our economy, or reimagining the future, it is always clear: The only way through all these is by working together.
Once again, thank you to AkadAsia for partnering with us in this new initiative. May we keep finding more ways to expand our partnership, more ways to give more people opportunities to thrive as we build a better normal.
Ako po, sa panghuli, sana ‘pag natapos na itong lahat, I would be able to personally visit all our Community Learning Hubs all over the Philippines, to be able to thank all of you. Unang-una, for being open to this partnership. Pangalawa, for really doing all means to make sure that not one of our students will be left behind. I had the opportunity to visit our Community Learning Hub in Pasig and in Taytay. Sobrang inspiring po; sobrang inspiring, lalo na kapag nakausap mo ‘yung magulang. Kapag nakausap mo ‘yung magulang, very grateful sila na we have this. Ako naman, excited ako, not just with the Community Learning Hub, but with the partnership with the teachers, with DepEd. Kasi I am sure na kapag tuloy-tuloy po itong partnership na ito, mas magiging mahusay, mas magiging maayos ‘yung ating mga estudyante.
So to our teachers here, to our DepEd officials, maraming-maraming salamat po for being open to this. To AkadAsia, we can never thank you enough. So maraming, maraming salamat. Good morning again to everyone.