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INNOTECH presents additional policy research to DepEd

Following the presentation of policy recommendations to the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) Executive Committee in March 2021, the SEAMEO INNOTECH research team were able to present two more policy researches on school health care and nutrition and inquiry-based teaching and learning.

(Related article: INNOTECH continues to support DepEd with policy recommendations on early childhood education, teacher motivation, multigrade schools, and school health)

Two policy notes were presented during the DepEd Executive Committee meeting held on 19 April 2021. Research findings and policy recommendations on Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and School Health Care and Nutrition in Primary Schools were discussed during the meeting. These policy notes were shared to support DepEd in its ongoing efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of basic education in the Philippines amidst the additional challenges raised by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education

Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning, or IBTL, is a pedagogical approach where students build knowledge by seeking answers to questions which are often open-ended or by working out problems. Students are encouraged to explore, investigate, analyze, and ask more questions. The role of the teacher in this setup is to facilitate or guide the students’ activities and discussions, prompt them to extend, sharpen or deepen their comprehension and critical thinking skills, direct them to relevant resources, and create a supportive learning environment. SEAMEO INNOTECH’s research titled, Nurturing Critical and Creative Thinkers through Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education, documented the various IBTL practices in selected learning institutions for early grade learners in Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Based on the research findings, INNOTECH recommends improving teacher preparation; investing in IBTL resources and materials to enhance the students’ learning experience; ensuring that students are growing in a learning environment that stimulates inquiry and critical thinking and fosters love for learning; engaging further the child’s parents or guardians; undertaking further study on authentic assessment of students’ critical and analytical thinking skills; contextualizing IBTL models based on students’ needs, interests, and level of abilities and other instructional approaches (e.g., Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration and Evaluation or the 5E Instructional Model by Bybee, et. al.); developing school-based policies that promotes IBTL methods that are contextualized to learners’ needs; and developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for IBTL practice and for its continuous improvement. According to Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, DepEd’s Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction, the study highlights the value of inquiry-based learning in the classroom, which is mandated under the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or RA 10533. He further mentioned that Learning Action Cell (LAC) sessions could be utilized to support and promote other pedagogical approaches as mandated by RA 10533. Dr. Jesus Lorenzo R. Mateo, DepEd’s Undersecretary for Planning, Human Resource and Organizational Development, and Field Operations, also commented that this study could be a relevant input to the Philippine’s Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP) 2030.

(Read: Nurturing Critical and Creative Thinkers through Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education)

School Health Care and Nutrition in Primary Schools in Southeast Asia

Even before the pandemic, INNOTECH has recognized the significance of health and nutrition to the school performance of a child. The COVID-19 pandemic calls for more active school health care and nutrition practices, particularly water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools, complemented with practice continued at home. The research study, School Health Care and Nutrition (SHCN) in Primary Schools in Southeast Asia, reviewed the national policies, frameworks, and programs related to SHCN and visited selected primary schools that are implementing successful SHCN practices. The study highlights the importance of the collaboration among stakeholders—schools, families, communities—to help realize the sustainable development goals (SDG) on ensuring healthy lives, promoting well-being, and providing inclusive and quality education for all. Some of the specific recommendations from the study are strengthening school-based management of SHCN programs, training school staff and teachers on national health standards, allotting bigger budget for school-based health and wellness initiatives, and strengthening the pandemic preparedness in schools as part of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) planning and program implementation.

(Read: School Health Care and Nutrition in Primary Schools in SEA: Policies, Programs, and Good Practices)

SEAMEO INNOTECH will continuously provide assistance and support to DepEd and other Southeast Asian Ministries of Education through its research, learning, and knowledge management programs to ensure that every learner in the region will have a healthy, safe, and better learning experience beyond this pandemic.

You can access these policy notes and other related research publications through our iKNOW page.

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