Filipino and Indonesian Educators bag SEA Educational Innovation Awards

The Southeast Asian Educational Innovation Awards (SEA EIA) conferred by SEAMEO INNOTECH formally gave recognition to four awardees during the 45th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on 29 November 2022. The four awardees were chosen from more than 350 classroom and school innovations nominated from six Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The innovations introduced by the winning teachers and school heads stood out among those developed in schools across the region. The winners were chosen after a rigorous three-phased selection and review. Three Filipinos and an Indonesian educator received the award for their outstanding innovations.

Each winner received a trophy of recognition and a travel grant of up to 3,000 USD as part of the prize. The winners received the trophy and recognition from Dr. Attaphon Sangkhawassee Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education of Thailand who represented the Minister of Education during the event. Dr. Leonor Magtolis Briones, SEAMEO INNOTECH Director, and Dr. Ethel Valenzuela, SEAMEO Secretariat Director, presented the awards.

The Southeast Asian Educational Innovation Awards is a project of the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology. In her remarks, Dr. Briones underlined the value of celebrating the achievement, innovative and creative drive that led to the development and implementation of the innovations that were being recognized. “More than learning loss, the innovations,” as emphasized by Dr. Briones, “demonstrate the learning gains that were possible.“

The awardees also presented their winning innovations in a Knowledge Forum among Thai educators organized by the Teachers Council of Thailand and INNOTECH in Bangkok on 28 November 2022.

Their award-winning work are featured in the first issue of the INNOTECH Educational Innovation Digest: https://bit.ly/SEADigest-01.


Teachers’ Innovations:

Improving Kindergarten Performance in Mathematics and Reading Through Digital App and Reading Videos

Ms. Joana B. Romano, a Master Teacher I from Melencio M. Castelo Elementary School in Payatas, Quezon City, Philippines, developed an offline, game-based digital application coupled with a set of video materials to teach Kindergarten students mathematics and reading in their Mother Tongue. The digital app and videos have helped her students improve their mathematics and reading skills while also developing positive attitudes towards the subjects.

Development and Implementation of “Dara” Applications To Learn Sound Perception And Communication of Deaf Children During Pandemic

Ms. Betya Sahara is a Teacher at SLB Negeri Kota Banjarbaru in Kalimantan Selatan, Indonesia. SLB Negeri Kota Banjarbaru is a school dedicated to children with special needs. One of their school’s programs for deaf children is the Development of Sound and Rhythm Perception Communication. This allows deaf children to communicate and recognize sounds around them, through hearing and feeling. Ms. Sahara developed an android-based mobile application, called “Dara” (Awareness Voice), as a learning medium for the program. The mobile application consists of sounds with certain vibrations to allow the learners to describe sounds, detect sounds, and learn to communicate orally. The mobile app also includes instructional videos, quizzes and games, and speech recognition which help the learners correct their pronunciation. The learners showed increase in sound perception with the use of the mobile application. Parents and the learners also found it easier to learn at home using the mobile application.


School Head Category:

TEACH TALK (Teachers’ Engagement, Action and Commitment in Assisting Learners at Home to Think, Ask, Listen, and Build New Knowledge)

In a place where internet connection is unstable, Ms. Mary Hazel Ballena, Principal of Bucay North Elementary School in Abra, Philippines, developed a system to continue reaching out to learners despite the lack of internet service. At the school’s initiative, teachers used a different medium to deliver learning to their students in the middle of the pandemic. Through partnership with different stakeholders, the school was able to provide handheld two-way radio for every student which they used to deliver lessons, conduct learner assessments, and conduct parent orientation and meetings. As observed through their learners’ performances throughout the year, the students yielded favorable learning outcomes and increased their school performance in every subject. This project also strengthened the bond between the teachers, their learners, and the parents as they were able to communicate freely and immediately. The school hopes to continue the use of the two-way radio for its future activities, even beyond the pandemic.

E-NAY.COM (Education for Nanay in the Community)

Mr. Rowan L. Celestra, Principal of Buenavista Elementary School in Sorsogon City, Philippines, spearheaded the project to capacitate the “Nanay” (Mothers) in the community to be learning facilitators. During the pandemic, parents have taken a bigger role in facilitating the learning of their child at home. Mr. Celestra thought of making everyone in the community a part of the distance learning process. It appeared to be the best option for a community that does not have access to internet or television. Along with capacitating the mothers, the project also established a learning center in every purok (sub-villages) which serves as a library, drop-off point for learning modules and accomplished activity sheets, and when called for, a classroom. Through the small community learning centers established, and with the help of the Mother Teacher Volunteers, learners were able to continue learning in an engaging way. The project did not only benefit the learners, it also empowered the mothers in the community as they become partners in their children’s learning during the emergency.


INNOTECH takes pride in recognizing these outstanding teachers and school heads through the first cycle of the Southeast Asian Educational Innovation Awards. Their creativity and innovation effectively addressed the needs of their learners in this challenging situation. More importantly, the passion and dedication they inspired will continue to inspire others on this journey to provide a better future for every learner.

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