Archive for category Diwa Learning Systems

Cavite City wins big in nationwide creative writing competition

Cavite City’s Statesfield College and Saint Joseph College delivered the winning entries in the grade school division of this year’s Wordworks National Creative Writing Competition and Gawad Tambuli Patimpalak sa Malikhaing Pagsulat, respectively.

Grade 6 student Bianca Elise Alarcon of Statesfield College, in her poem entitled “Journeylism,” talked about her dream of becoming a global news writer or blogger. The 12 year old’s piece was judged the best in the Wordworks, the Abracadabra Poetry Writing Contest.

Second place went to Bianca Bruno of Santa Rita de Cascia Parochial School of Paranaque City and the 3rd place was awarded to Alexa Claire Estaniel of Dr. P. Ocampo Colleges, Inc. of Cotabato City.

Meantime, in the Tagalog writing competition, Azriel Yosef Pal of Saint Joseph College expressed his desire to travel the world; his dream of becoming a doctor, firefighter, police, engineer, lawyer, architect or pilot; and his ultimate of becoming a good citizen who is able to give glory to his nation.  The Tagalog poem won first place in the Gawad Tambuli, the Kaluskos’ Paligsahan sa Pagsulat ng Tula

Renee Cristen Enriquez also of Saint Joseph College and Gabriel Alvarez of Statesfields School of Cavite City, won 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

The competition was organized by Diwa Learning Systems Inc, the leading provider of print and digital educational resources for basic education in the Philippines

The six bested almost 300 students nationwide who joined the competition.  It was open to all subscribers of Diwa Learning Systems Inc’s Supplemental Educational Magazines for English “Abracadabra,” “Magica,” and for Filipino “Kaluskos” and “Tambuli.”

Entries were judged based on creativity, content and writing mechanics.  The theme was “Be the Change” for WordWorks and “Ikaw ang Magsimula ng Pagbabago” for Gawad Tambuli.

The competition, which started in 2004, aims to nurture young English and Filipino writers.

The competition also has categories for high school students –  for Wordworks, the Magica Essay Writing Contest and for Gawad Tambuli, the Tambuli Paligsahan sa Pagsulat ng Maikling Kwento.

Top prizes for the essay-writing contest went to Rea Alexis Dolores of the School of La Salette of Bulacan, Ria Ann Roldan of Saint Pedro Poveda College of Mandaluyong City and Samantha Abello, also of Saint Pedro Poveda College of Mandaluyong City.

In the Gawad Tambuli high school division, Marc Lesney Maddumba of Olivarez College of Paranaque City, Rona Eilsel Deraco of San Lorenzo Ruiz Center of Studies and Schools Pampanga, and Ma. Ana Christina Tantengco also of of San Lorenzo Ruiz Center of Studies and Schools Pampanga brought home the medals.

All works will be published online at www.diwa.ph.

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Teachers, Innovation and Education

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It’s awesome to see all the innovative classroom technologies available today. But, it raises an interesting question. Are our teachers ready to handle these innovations? Diwa Learning Systems Inc, the leading provider of print and digital educational resources for basic education in the Philippines, gathered some of the country’s administrators and teachers to find out.

The first Genyo e-Learning Innovation Summit was held recently at the SMX Convention Center.  Genyo e-Learning is the first and only fully integrated learning management system for basic education in the country.

For the company, having the most high-tech tools and the most advanced software are not enough.  “e-Learning is one catalyst that makes innovation possible. But e-Learning alone is not innovation in itself. It is just a tool,” says Ana Alipit, Diwa Learning Systems Vice President for e-Learning.

The whole day activities were designed to inspire educators to creatively use technology for education, with Miriam College President Dr. Rosario O. Lapus sharing her school’s journey to innovation, and Diwa Learning Systems Inc Executive Director for Genyo e-Learning Training Mr. Jun Sayson telling stories about how different partner schools become successful in integrating technology in their curriculum.

The state of innovation

The more animated part of the event happened in the afternoon when it was the participants’ turn to exchange experiences on how they use technology, particularly Genyo e-Learning, to create an innovativeteaching and learning experience.

One such school is St. Paul College Pasig, which decided to utilize Genyo e-Learning in delivering learning modules to its student athletes training and competing abroad in its academic support program.  “Even when they are not inside the classroom, they can access their current lessons through Genyo,” says Ms. Lilibeth Coronel, administrator from St. Paul College Pasig.

Other participants shared how Genyo e-Learning is being used to prevent disruptions of lessons. This is applicable for students who are sick or when classes are suspended.

Within the confines of the classrooms, increase in usage is being noted. “By this year, we’ve increased our usage by 400%.  It is only now that our seasoned teachers are learning the usage of Genyo.  It is pleasing to see that once they learn how to use Genyo, they appreciate it.  It was a nine-year journey for us though,” shares Mr. Raymond Samonte of St. Paul College Makati.

The road to innovation has challenges

Being the pioneer in introducing technology in education in the country, Diwa Learning Systems attested that there were a lot of hurdles. To start with, many schools were apprehensive because of the cost. They also had to face educators who prefer traditional lesson delivery, essentially because of fear of using technology.  There werealso parents who are concerned about the increased Internet usage of their children.

But at the Innovation Summit, participants agreed that the country’s Internet infrastructure, considered as the slowest in Southeast Asia, is one of the biggest deterrent in integrating technology in education. “They (teachers) prepare for a Genyo class, but when they cannot use it because of (intermittent) Internet connection. They become frustrated,” shares one participant. “There were really issues on (Internet) connectivity.  Our Internet provider did not give us the promised bandwidth so we terminated their contract.”

But despite this challenge, many schools persisted. The challenges brought about the school administrators’ creativity. For instance, one school devised a bandwidth management system, which controlled the number of devices that access the Internet at specific schedules to ensure that Genyo e-Learning has dedicated and strong connection during classes.

Innovation should not be delayed

Diwa Learning Systems also remained unfazed. To help schools with slow Internet connectivity, it has made available a local areanetwork-based version of Genyo e-Learning.  With Genyo iXL, teachers and students can enjoy most of the benefits of Genyo e-Learning even without Internet connection.

And since the company believes that the heart of innovation are the educators themselves, Diwa is continuously deploying itsLearning Integration Specialists, who are technology integration assistantsassigned to schools, to provide teachers with the latest trainings to help them better use technology in their classes.

As the company says, “Diwa believes innovation fuels the future. The future is inevitable, but whether it’s going to be bleak or bright, this depends on how we innovate today.”

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The Many Faces of the Teacher 2014 honoree Genevieve Kulong gets local recognition

10620453_10152739194983014_1010013222796501264_oThe city government of Zamboanga recently honored exemplary citizens who have contributed significantly in their fields of interest.  Among those given the Local Achievers 2015 award were Ms. Genevieve Kulong (4th from left), master teacher from Zamboanga City High School and 2014 honoree of The Many Faces of the Teacher award of Bato Balani Foundation Inc. and Diwa Learning Systems.  The ceremony was one of the highlights of the 78th Dia de Zamboanga celebration. Leading the ceremony was Mayor Ma. Isabelle  Climaco (2nd from left), who bestowed the prestigious awards to the winners.  Also in photo are (from left) Councilor Roel Natividad, Mayor Climaco, Husband Ronnie Val Kulong, Kulong, Councilor Ismael Musa, Councilor Ma. Paz Abubakar and Councilor Vincent Paul Elago.

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Bato Balani Foundation Inc helps give out-of-school youth a chance on education

DSC_0585Kariton Klasrum gets a supportive push.  Bato Balani Foundation Inc Executive Director, Natalie Christine V. Jorge (2nd from left) joins 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, Efren Peñaflorida (2nd from right) and Department of Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC present the new mobile classrooms at the roll-out ceremony of Kariton Klasrum Project at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Complex last January 27.

Makati City, Philippines – Poverty has kept education inaccessible to a lot of our country’s children. So as a response to these challenges, Bato Balani Foundation Inc (BBFI) supports the Kariton Klasrum, a project by the Department of Education and the Dynamic Teen Company (DTC), which will hopefully bring education to them. Bato Balani Foundation Inc, the socio development arm of Diwa Learning Systems Inc, the country’s leading provider of print and digital educational resources, donated textbooks and educational magazines for the mobile classrooms that are being prepared for more than 100 different locations nationwide.

The Kariton Klasrum is originally a project of Efren Peñaflorida, founder of DTC and 2009 CNN Hero of the Year. BBFI does its share by loading up the fleet of Kariton Klasrums with educational resources that street children and out-of-school youth will use to learn basic education and to help them get back to regular schools.

While a lot of other things need to be loaded in each Kariton Klasrum, BBFI hopes that their donation will help the program roll out sooner than planned and go beyond 100 locations. BBFI readily extended its support to Kariton Klasrum because it shares the foundation’s vision to make quality education accessible to everyone. BBFI believes that the little help they offered provided the Kariton Klasrum program a considerable push to make that vision a reality.

 

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Series of camps set to prepare Philippine educators for innovative teaching

IMG_4170We started using Diwa back in our old school. From the old school to the new school, Diwa’s contribution has been immense as we transitioned to the new curriculum and as we adapt to the age of innovation.”

  • Evangeline Constantino, Supervisor of Bayanihan Institute, Tarlac City and President of the Tarlac Private School Association.

“Change and innovation is what we mean by Diwa. We’ve seen its influence on our children. They know how to think critically and they are very observant. Our students and kids don’t just read books; they contribute new ideas to the lessons they’ve learned for the day.”

  • Corazon Samson, Administrator of Fairlane Young Achievers School and President of Private Schools in Tarlac City.

“Despite being a small school with meager resources, Diwa’s Supplemental Educational Magazines, particularly Bato Balani and Salaguinto, are able to provide huge support in developing our students’ critical thinking skills.”

  • Cess Munsod, Teacher at Great Eastern Institute and Vice President of The Alliance of Private Schools in Tarlac Province

And so it began. Wonderful words about the fun, high-impact learning experience of campers who had been to Diwa Innovation Camp for Teachers, or Diwa ICT, are starting to flow.

Kicking off last November 22 in Pampanga, the Diwa ICT, organized by Diwa Learning Systems Inc, the country’s leading provider of print and digital learning resources, will in subsequent weeks also set camp for one whole day in Davao, Visayas and Luzon to give more campers, which include teachers and school administrators, a fun and engaging environment to ignite their creativity and innovativeness with the help of Diwa’s Textbooks and Supplemental Educational Magazines (SEMs).

“We at Diwa believe that innovation, first and foremost, begins with a creative and resourceful educator; someone who never ceases to look for ways to improve his or her teaching style so he or she can meet the needs of different kinds of learners.” says Diwa Executive Vice President Elma L. Ropeta as campers begin to immerse themselves in the youthful atmosphere.

The Diwa ICT bears all the elements people have come to love in camps. Although done inside the comfort and safety of a hall, it retains an environment that celebrates active involvement, self-expression, adventure, friendship, and of course, fun. It emulates the kind of environment 21st century students prefer to learn in. What’s more, the Diwa ICT departs from the usual speaker-participants route. No speaker exists there, only camp facilitators and coaches who actively collaborate with campers in workshops that produce innovative ways of developing the critical thinking, sound reasoning and other 21st century skills of students.

In today’s age, “Innovation” can easily be tied to technology. The Diwa Innovation Camp for Teachers dispels that myth and arms our country’s educators with the right skills and tools so they can become ultimate champions of innovation, highly equipped in creating lifelong and globally competitive learners.

To learn more about Diwa Learning Systems Inc, visit http://www.diwa.ph.

 

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Five new stories of Heroism from Teachers

Bato Balani Foundation announces this year’s honorees for its annual recognition program, The Many Faces of theTeachers.  Since its birth in 2002, it has been presenting stories of inspiration in the hope of uplifting the stature ofteaching in the country.

The roster of honorees are presented at the much-awaited event, “A Tribute to Teachers”, which is held in Davao City as one of the major highlights of the country’s celebration of National Teachers Month. The honorees join the ranks of thecountry’s most admirable teachers such as this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Emergent Leader awardee Randy Halasan; 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees Christopher Bernido and Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido;  2008 Most Outstanding Mobile Teacher Jenelyn Baylon; Dr. Onofre Pagsanghan; Loboc Children’s Choir Founder Alma Fernando-Taldo; Batibot founder Feny delos Angeles-Bautista; 2002 Intel Excellence in Teaching Awardee Dr. Josette T. Biyo and Fr. James Reuter.  The search started in 2002 as an advocacy campaign designed to lift the status of teaching in the country.

The honorees are spirited enabler Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko from Manila; cultural curator Elsie C. Padernal from Calinog, Iloilo; creative leader Darwin T. Tadifa from Tubungan, Iloilo; limitless lecturer Jinglebert P. Collado; and innovation crusader Genevieve Kulong from Zamboanga City

Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko: Spirited Enabler

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Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko graduated from a prestigious university in Metro Manila and obtained her Master’s Degree and Post-Graduate Degree from The University of Melbourne in Australia and the National Institute of Education in Singapore respectively. Despite her educational background, Ms. Ongkiko, made the unconventional decision to teachat the Culiat Elementary School, a public school located in Quezon City with over-populated students.

Influenced by her father who taught her the meaning of service, the value of simplicity and choosing to look at the bright side in life, Ms. Ongkiko wanted to serve and channel her love through teaching her students. To her, a teacher should be an embodiment of love and light. She should do her best to help change the lives of her students. Her students endearingly call her “Teacher Sab,” and her motivating ways and confidence in her students inspire them to excel and finish their education. She believes that her success is their success.

Outside teaching, Ms. Ongkiko is an inspirational speaker. She is always invited to give talks in local TedEx events, commencement exercises, leadership fora, and conferences. She is also a head teacher at “Teachables Inc.,” a group committed to support and empower teachers all around the country. She strives to create a community of teachers who mutually support each other and encourage each other with their love for teaching. She also aims to provide her fellow teachers an avenue to tell their own stories so that society may see them in a more inspiring and positive light.

Elsie C. Padernal: Cultural Curator

PADERNAL.

Discrimination is still a sad reality Filipino indigenous peoples (IP) face.  As a result, the IPs feel inferior to lowlanders.  Some resort to just hiding their ethnic roots.

But that is not for Elsie C. Padernal.  A member of the Cabellero Clan of the Panay Bukidnon tribe, who are theremaining masters of their culture, Elsie is persistent  in learning about her culture as well as  passing her knowledge to her students and other people interested about their culture.

Ms Padernal is Lamingan to her tribe, which means mirror of the youth. She has been incorporating their culture in her lessons. She has included local embroidery in their art class, traditional dance in their PE and using bamboo instruments in their music class.  After school, she spends time documenting her culture. She is writing a Sugidanon dictionary which translates the archaic language to Kinaray-a to Tagalog to English. She also keeps other record books where she documents other facets of their culture like constellation, months, wind and trees.

Outside the classroom, she is a performer, resource speaker, trainer, writer and composer of Panay Bukidnon chants and dances.  She is also President and founder of the Panay IP Professionals Organization (PIPPO), which encourages professionals who are members of their tribe to learn about their culture.  She is also spearheading a project that  will train an IP teacher in the 13 mountains barangay and 7 lowland barangays plus 8 in National High Schools theintegration of IP curriculum to regular curriculum.  Apart from these groups, she also serves as an officer or active member of the different organizations concerned about preserving their culture.

Darwin T. Tadifa: Creative Leader

TADIFA.Victoria Elementary School is the second farthest school in the Municipality of Tubungan, Iloilo.  The place is difficult to reach.  It entails mountain climbing, river crossings and facing threats from the leftist rebel groups.  Victoria is the first teaching assignment of Mr. Tadifa.  But, the hardship in reaching Victoria is the easier part of Mr. Tadifa’s journey as a teacher in Victoria.  The people of Victoria have a very low regard for education.

To influence the people, Mr. Tadifa persevered to help the students excel in their education and get recognition from it.  They joined competitions in the district and congressional levels and started wining.  The parents were impressed and soon after  started appreciating education. Mr. Tadifa started organizing the parents so that they can also learn skills they can use in their daily lives and to earn added income from cooking and gardening.  They formalized their activities and called it project BULAK (Buhay Unahin sa Literasiya para sa Ating Kinabukasan).

Aside from this, Mr. Tadifa was also instrumental in the electrification of Barangay Victoria.  He also helped in thebuilding of the farm to market road.

After 3 years in Victoria, he transferred to Tubungan Elementary School, where he  handles the Edukasyon Pangtahanan class and works as the Alternative Learning Systems Coordinator.  Thes roles allow himt to continue his service in Victoria and to reach out to out of school youths and other learners in Tubungan.

For his home barangay, San Jose, this creative leader spearheaded Project LUNOK (Literasiya Unahin Natin at Obligahin para sa ating Kinabukasan). They have projects involving basic cooking, table setting, napkin folding and other skills that help the members become more entrepreneurial.

Jinglebert P. Collado: Limitless Lecturer

COLLADO.Another teacher whose boundaries are limitless is 34 year old mobile teacher Jinglebert P. Collado.

His true calling is educating IP learners, no matter the difficulty in reaching them. He and his family are aware of therisks.  Kapalong, Davao Del Norte is considered a “red zone area” in Mindanao due to the presence of rebels He could have accepted assignments that came with attractive compensations and urban comforts, yet he chose to stay in Kapalong.

His first assignment was the Dibabawun tribe in Mambago. The area is kilometers away from the Poblacion of Kapalong and he needed to hike for one and a half hours to reach his students.Seeing the eyes and faces of these IP children who are thirsty for education relieved him of the physical hardships of trekking. More rewarding were the gratitude and happiness of the parents.

After Mambago, he was transferred to another IP community, the Aninipot Elementray School, which is farther than Mambago. This job entailed 4 hours hiking and crossing 21 rivers.

He adopts his teaching style to work despite their cultural differences.  The modules and worksheets teach them not only the basic aspects of education but also the livelihood and spiritual growth of IPs.

As a community worker, he works together with the Barangay in developing activities for his students and other members of the neighborhood.

Genevieve G. Kulong: Innovation Crusader 

KULONG.Last year, the peace-loving people of Zamboanga woke up to sounds of mortars and firearms.  One’s natural response to war is usually to flee, but not for Genevieve G. Kulong and her family.

At the height of the Zamboanga siege, the family received text messages from concerned family members asking them to leave Zamboanga City. Their reply was “this is the time our city needs us the most.”

Instead of staying home, Ms. Kulong, together with other teachers, volunteered at the evacuation center in their school, tending to those who were affected by the war.  She also adopted in her home a co-teacher who is an evacuee.

Realizing that her students needed help in coping up with stress from war, she turned to ICT to reach out to her students.  She used social networking sites to communicate with her students and used it as a venue for her students to express their feelings. This project was recognized in the recent National ICT Congress.  It got the best practices award.

Ms. Kulong also made a disaster plan for her school, which uses ICT. It became a model disaster plan in her district. With her group, the ANS Rotary Club of Zamboanga City, she is lobbying for financial support for a school in Sta. Barbara which was damaged by the Zamboanga Siege.

Prior to the war in Zamboanga, Ms. Kulong was very active in conducting outreach program for the kids of Zamboanga City who live in the mountains.  They bring them to the city for a fun day and let them come home with clothes, food and school supplies.

This innovation crusader is also very active in promoting ICT in Zamboanga, reaching out to fellow teachers, her students and the parents of her students.  At her former school, Ayala National High School, 90% of the teachers are ICT adept because of her efforts.  Also, one of her projects, which encouraged her students to investigate and produce videos about rice shortage, won a Best Practice Award using ICT in Education at the 3rdICT Congress in 2012.

Inspiring teachers

A quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero says “What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation.”

These teachers did not only do their duty, which already is a noble act.  They went beyond.  For these, they deserve theaccolade.

For more information about A Tribute to Teacher and The Many Faces of the Teacher, log on to www.diwa.ph and www.batobalanifoundation.org.ph.

Updates are also available at https://www.facebook.com/tribute2teacher.

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Foundation Unveils Finalists for Teacher Search

Our times call for heroes.

Each year for more than a decade now, the Bato Balani Foundation through The Many Faces of the Teacher (TMFT) advocacy campaign has sought out inspiring Filipino teachers whose lives are sterling examples of dedication, courage, and steadfastness in this noble profession.

Each year, educators who display remarkable commitment to mold the country’s youth make up the 12 TMFT finalists. From this roster, only four will be chosen to join the ranks of Fr. James Reuter SJ, Onofre Pagsanghan, Milagros Ibe, Christopher and Maria Victoria Bernido, and Josette Biyo as TMFT honorees who are educators who make an impact not just to their students but to their communities.

The 2013 Finalists 

In a community where drug addiction has reared its ugly head, Rosalie Lariosa uses education to combat this scourge. For her, once the students are inside the classrooms, they can dream bigger and aim for better lives. Through her efforts, an eyesore “tambayan” became a reading center.

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Teodora Balangcod or “Dora the Explorer”, as she is fondly called at University of the Philippines Baguio, is an ethno-botanist who brings science to remote Cordillera communities.  Members of indigenous tribes are reliant on herbal medicines, which are part of their cultural beliefs.  She helps the community members understand the scientific effect of these medicinal plants by sharing with them her research.

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For teachers Jesus Insilada and Randy Halasan, it is important to teach where they are most needed.

Despite numerous awards as a writer, Jesus Insilada chose to remain in his town to keep the lifeblood of his culture flowing through his writings and teachings.  He is a member of the indigenous group Panay Bukidnon.

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For the Matigsalog indigenous group in Davao City, Randy Halasan serves as their beacon of hope despite not being a member of their tribe. Teacher Randy treks more than three hours and crosses a river that goes up to chest deep to get to the tribe. He has uplifted the lives of the Matigsalogs by helping them form a farmers’ cooperative, acquire a rice and corn mill, and get seeds of durable crops. Also, his efforts made it possible for the tribe to have their own high school in the community so that students can continue their basic education without going too far.

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Just like Teacher Randy, service extends beyond the four corners of the classrooms for these teachers.

Annie Rodriguez of the Philippine Science High School Southern Mindanao Campus, volunteers for a haven created specifically for the elderly in a secluded area in Tugbok, Davao City.  She also helps out at the Correction for Women in Davao City.

Dr. Manuel C. Jorge, associate professor at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine in Manila, started a community project for informal settlers in an area of Grace Park in Caloocan City.  He organized a tuberculosis clinic supported by an NGO and the Department of Health.

Manuel Manuel III of the Cesar E. A. Virata School of Business, University of the Philippines serves marginalized families through the group He Cares Foundation. He is also a member of Ligaya ng Panginoon and leader of the Christ Youth in Action, a nationwide organization focusing on spiritual growth.

Ma. Cristeta Andaya of Oriental Mindoro conducts community service at Oriental Mindoro National High School through tree planting activities, clean-up drives, and gift-giving events.  She is a head teacher and the department head of the Science, Technology, and Engineering Program.

Julieta Serrano is an active volunteer at ULIKID, a community-based special education and rehabilitation center. Her passion in helping children with disabilities has led to the recognition of San Joaquin Elementary School as a SPED Center by the Bureau of Elementary Education.

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Breast cancer survivor Sonia Daguila dealt with many battles in life. She has authored four books – Seeds of Revolution (textbook and workbook for Rizal course); Politics and Government with Philippine Constitution; Rizal Mandated and Legislated Course: Teaching Guide for Rizal Course CHED Commissioned; Philippine History.

Nueva Mangaoang of Passi City, Iloilo introduced Project ERIC or English Remedial Instruction for Children. It is a peer-to-peer remedial reading project. She also came up with Project ECAN or Every Child A Numerate with fellow math, which is also a peer-to-peer remedial program, which involves teachers and the math club to help students with difficulties in Math.

For her part, Marivi Castro develops instructional materials (workbook in English 3, NAT and NCAE instruction materials; engages students, parents, and other stakeholders through activities she initiates and organizes different activities within the school like stage plays.  One of these projects was able to raise funds for the school’s fence.

The Many Faces of the Teacher honorees for 2013 will be announced on October 4 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. They will also be presented to the public during the celebration of World Teacher’s Day on October 5 and the Gabay Guro event on October 27. To know more about this program log on to www.batobalanifoundation.org.ph or www.diwa.ph/tributetoteachers.

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