INNOTECH hosts Multigrade Online Summit
On 31 August 2020, SEAMEO INNOTECH hosted the Multigrade Online Summit: Celebrating Partnerships and Milestones Towards a Strengthened Multigrade Program in Philippine Education. The online event was held as a culmination of the Technical Support to Multigrade Program in Philippine Education (TS-MPPE) and the Strengthening Delivery of Multigrade Program in Region 8 (SDMG R8) projects.
Under a six-year agreement, the tripartite partnership of SEAMEO INNOTECH, UNICEF, and the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) continues to work together to improve access to quality learning delivery for children in remote and rural areas. The Multigrade Program in Philippine Education (MPPE) was one of the areas for collaboration under the said agreement. Technical assistance was provided to DepEd to review the implementation of MPPE nationwide through the TS-MPPE project. And based on the results of the review, a capacity building program, the SDMG R8, was envisaged and launched to enhance the capacity of multigrade implementers in terms of contextualization of teaching-learning materials, education delivery, and quality assurance of the multigrade education program, particularly in Region 8, where the highest number of Multigrade schools in the country is found.
(Related article: Click here MPPE Review full report now available on the INNOTECH website)
Much have been achieved since 2017 when the three-way partnership commenced. Dr. Leila P. Areola, Director IV of DepEd’s Bureau of Learning Delivery, shared the highlights and milestones of the project. She emphasized the MPPE research publications, capacity building materials and advocacy videos produced, and capacity building programs held. She also shared the upcoming publications on Multigrade schools’ case studies, Resource Kit for Multigrade teachers’ learning action cells, and advocacy materials for family and community members as learning partners in the time of COVID-19.
Mr. Romel Costales, Education Program Supervisor II of the Curriculum and Learning Management Division of DepEd Region II, shared how they have used the new Philippine Multigrade Schools Monitoring and Evaluation System in their Schools Divisions to provide technical assistance to Multigrade Schools. Dr. Carmela Tamayo, Superintendent of the Schools Division of Samar, and Dr. Gorgonio Diaz, Jr., Superintendent of the Schools Division of Northern Samar – the two divisions in Region 8 that served as focal areas of the SDMG R8 project – together with Dr. Rosemarie Guino, OIC-Chief of Curriculum and Learning Management Division of DepEd Region 8, also had the chance to share how they plan to expand and sustain the project gains to the other Multigrade schools in Region VIII.
Ms. Stephanie Orlino, Assistant Vice President of Smart Communications, Inc., a partner private institution of the SDMG R8 project, also shared how her experience with the project has helped them improve Smart Communication’s School-in-a-Bag (SIAB) program as they continue to roll it out to other schools in the country. She also tackled how they can further innovate to support teachers and students during remote learning amidst the pandemic.
Mr. Isy Faingold, Chief of Education of UNICEF Philippines, shared that the SDMG R8 project serves as a model that can be replicated in other regions. He emphasized how different actors of the society – from the government, to international organizations, and the private sector can efficiently work together to improve the quality of education services, especially in remote, rural areas. The innovations introduced in the project, such as the use of School-in-a-Bag technological learning packages and working with the parents and the community, played an important role in the success of the project.
Focusing on the “bayanihan” spirit, Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, Undersecretary for Curriculum of Instruction of DepEd, also stressed how the Multigrade school’s mission to provide access to quality education to children in remote communities has been realized through collaborative work of many different stakeholders – teachers, school heads, supervisors, parents and the community, and partner organizations. For him, these people are the new heroes of today (i.e., in commemoration of the National Heroes’ Day on 31st August 2020 which coincides with the Multigrade Summit).
With three more years on the tripartite agreement of INNOTECH, UNICEF, and DepEd, new collaborative projects will be done to reach more disadvantaged schools in the remote areas, especially in this challenging time.
You can re-watch the Multigrade Online Summit on the SEAMEO INNOTECH Facebook page to listen for better insights, stories, and lessons learned by Multigrade program stakeholders.