The school year is starting in the middle of a global pandemic. How will the education sector adapt to the ‘new-normal’?
While the public and private sectors have developed online tools to provide distance learning platforms, both are open to collaborations with companies and individuals who are in a position to deliver teaching solutions.
On Friday, September 18, V-DOSE Education brought together key education stakeholders for a virtual coffee talk on distance learning and the challenges being faced by teachers, parents and students.
- – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chairman of Basic Education, Culture and Arts.
- Henry Motte-Muñoz, Chief Executive Officer of Edukasyon.ph
- Michelle Reyes, founder of My Study Partner and veteran educator.
- Education advocates (and parents) Audrey Tan-Zubiri and Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez.
What is V-DOSE Education?
V-DOSE Education is a content provider producing instructional and tutorial videos featuring specialist educators.
Parents with elementary-age children can access V-DOSE Education: A Guide to Singapore Math at: www.vdose-edu.com
Singapore Math is used by leading global educational institutions – including Ateneo, Xavier, and ICA in the Philippines.
Focus on Mastery instead of Memorization
Singapore Math enables students to develop long-term retention and helps to nurture a better understanding of Math. V-DOSE Education focuses on equipping parents (even those with no previous teaching experience) with the necessary tools to help their children progress on their Math journey.
“This is a very timely event and an extremely insightful discussion for us all to be having”, said Senator Gatchalian. “A child’s cognitive skills need training, nurturing and developing regardless of the situation. There are 23 million students attending public school in the Philippines and these schools are scheduled to reopen on October 6th 2020”.
Senator Gatchalian, the author of the ‘Education in the Better Normal’ Bill, was joined by Valenzuela School Superintendent, Dr. Meliton Zurbano and Vice Mayor Laurie Natividad who is in charge of the education program in Valenzuela.
The Philippines Government foresees a ‘blended learning’ approach to teaching in the coming months. Self-study modules will be distributed to public school students for home-use and balanced with in-school interaction with teachers.
Since early September, parents such as Tan-Zubiri and Lagdameo-Martinez (who both have children in private schools) have taken on home-teaching roles.
Mother of three, Lagdameo-Martinez, had already begun home-schooling her children prior to the pandemic, however the current situation has brought new challenges:
“Every child has a different way of learning a subject”, said Lagdameo-Martinez. “We have realised this once our children began studying at home and we have had to adjust our approach accordingly”.
Tan-Zubiri, also a mother of three, agreed: “If there is tension between a teacher and a child, this only presents itself in a classroom environment. In a home-schooling scenario, parents are the teacher, cafeteria worker, school nurse, classmate, bully, tech support and in my case, the Mom and this creates challenges for parents and the child!”
Michelle, a highly-experienced and well-regarded educator, was already teaching her son at home before the pandemic began. She realised parents who now found themselves in a similar situation must be struggling:
“As I am an educator, I had a firm grasp of what was required to ensure I had my son’s full attention and teach him in an effective manner. I asked myself; ‘How are other parents coping with this situation?’ and I knew I had to do something”.
Senator Gatchalian agreed:
“Many parents experience anxiety regarding their ability to teach their child. This is exacerbated when it comes to Math as this can be a very challenging subject. Even parents who finished college are hesitant to teach Math. Imagine how the parents in rural areas feel when they are put under pressure to contribute to their child’s learning journey”.
While online solutions are not new, infrastructure in the Philippines has made accessibility difficult, particularly in rural areas.
Motte-Munoz established Edukasyon.ph five years ago. The platform is designed to help high school and college level students and the company paved the way for distance learning in the Philippines – despite the challenges of connectivity and device accessibility.
“New platforms to encourage learning are imitating the digital content a child experiences and short video games are aiding children as they develop skills”, said Motte-Munoz.
“‘Gamification’ is providing a new way of learning and is playing a role in many children’s education journey. Tech-companies are experimenting with new formats as children are resilient, adaptable and are quick to adopt new technologies. The user experience of the teacher, parent and child needs to be considered by developers as new platforms are introduced”.
In light of the current situation, Motte-Munoz predicts greater penetration in the digital sphere and increased online support for parents-turned-teachers.
Most importantly, the education of our children lay at the very heart of the launch: V-DOSE Education: A Guide to Singapore Math.
“In these challenging times, we need to provide children with certainty”, concluded Tan-Zubiri.
“We all need to take control of our children’s learning experiences and parents need to acknowledge the importance of preparing children for the ‘school day at home’. We need to continue to ‘feed’ children’s brains and while the school calendar has been disrupted, children are still hungry for knowledge”.
“It is our responsibility to give our children the education they deserve”.
V-DOSE Education: A Guide to Singapore Math supports My Study Partner Foundation, Inc., which provides children with temporary care through foster home placements, financial assistance, support services and educational opportunities.
V-DOSE Education: A Guide to Singapore Math with Michelle Reyes is available for purchase at www.vdose-edu.com Each level (Grades 2 to 6) features four modules per course and are accompanied by full access to video clips of selected problems from the My Pals are here! Pupil’s book for an entire quarter of a school/s curriculum, a Module Deck form based on the problems on the video clips, and the answer key of the book and workbook! V-DOSE Education also sells the ‘My Pals Are Here’ series of books by Marshall Cavendish on which the videos are based: www.vdose-edu.com/shop/