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Schools that showcase 21st century learning cited at 2nd EETA

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Educators of today should realize that traditional mentoring methods and educational management are slowly giving way to open mindsets, newer learning techniques and strategies, and utilizing technology in shaping the minds not only of students but also of teachers.

 This is the general perception at the ceremonies celebrating the 2nd Excellence in Educational Transformation Awards (EETA) that was held recently at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. Organized by Bayan Academy, Rex Book Store Inc. and the Knowledge Channel Foundation, it is a unique educational award in the country that recognizes unique ideas and best practices in school management and teaching and learning innovations, with the aim of promoting and sharing them with other schools.

 The eight winning schools have shown that technology and uncanny strategies can lead to unprecedented results, whether or not they have the financial means to support them. Of these, six learning institutions were recognized for excellence for their exceptional innovations in their school systems, which covered aspects like curriculum design, learning materials, learning methodologies, administrative systems and processes, and learning spaces and places. These schools were Singapore School Manila, Statefields School Inc., Don Bosco Technology Center–Cebu, La Salle Green Hills (Grade School Dept.), Southville International School and Colleges, and the Diocesan Schools of Pagadian. They received a trophy and P300,000.

 Two schools were recognized for innovations in curriculum design and development and learning methodologies for learning effectiveness. Singapore School Manila was commended for its positivist approach to learning and education and its adoption of a curriculum that joined the best features of the Singapore curriculum system and Cambridge University’s International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) with the standards required by the Department of Education.

On the other hand, Bacoor, Cavite’s Statesfields School, Inc. got the nod of the judges for its unique educational model, combining the understanding by design (UBD) framework with the multiple intelligences (MI) plan and embracing the differentiated instruction (DI) philosophy, which recognized the individualized needs of its students in building their personal proficiencies.

Two academic institutions were also recognized for their innovative take on academic and administrative management for school efficiency. At the forefront is Southville International School and Colleges (SISC), which focused to improve on molding topnotch faculty and staff development through the introduction of Learning Institute Program (LIP), while coming up with an inventive curriculum called the Strategic Program for Emergent Learners through Learning Shops (SPELLS), laying the school’s foundation with teachers that are adequately trained to mentor students who get the maximum worth of learning.

The Diocesan Schools of Pagadian under Sister Amelia David, ICM was recognized for turning around the 16 parochial schools in Zamboanga del Sur from their sorry situation into one that is worthy of emulation.

Don Bosco Technology Center in Cebu was awarded for its innovations in curriculum design and development for learning effectiveness. Mindful of the changes in the market environment and the advances in technology, the school adopted spiral progression as its new education delivery mode that focused on catering to students with inclinations to engineering or engineering-related courses, becoming a paragon in technical-vocational education in the country.

The La Salle Green Hills grade school department was recognized for innovations in learning methodologies and delivery systems for learning effectiveness, particularly for its Learner-Centered Learning Environment (LCLE) and Technology Management Center (TMC), spearheading the use of technology and the Internet in improving their students’ capabilities to develop themselves as learners. They introduced e-tablets which effectively facilitated the school’s learner-centered education paradigm.

Two schools stood out as the most transformative schools for learning effectiveness and school efficiency. Dr. Yanga’s Colleges, Inc. and Navotas National High School, were chosen for their groundbreaking take on transforming their institutions, defying obstacles that would have naturally crippled them. They received a trophy and P400,000.

In 2001, Michael Yanga was given the task of taking over the family-run school that was hinged on bad reputation and on the verge of collapse. Through deep faith in God and technology, he steered Dr. Yanga’s Colleges Inc. (DYCI) in Bocaue, Bulacan into the direction of robotics, which became the school’s flagship program to transform the school and elevate its education standards.

Navotas National High School is an example of how a school can overcome financial limitations by utilizing superior strategies. The teachers under Dr. Maria Cristina Robles started the Mobile Computer-Aided Reinforcement for Teaching (M-CART), which effectively taught students in large classes of 75 to 90 students, which appealed to the students through the use of multimedia while being clear and effective tools for learning.

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