By Merline Hernando-Malipot
Recognizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education, hundreds of school leaders and educators gathered online in an effort to find right strategies to cope with the challenges brought about by the health crisis.
The ongoing global COVID-19 crisis has not spared the education sector. The school year was halted, schools and campuses were closed while students and teachers were forced to stay home. To help address these concerns, Diwa Learning Systems Inc. (Diwa) and Bato Balani Foundation Inc. launched a digital offshoot of its flagship teacher training program called “How To Be A Highly Effective Teacher (HTBHET).”
The HTBHET has already trained around 302,000 teachers from all over the Philippines since it started in 2001. It includes a portfolio of topics that include teaching strategies, motivation, and inspiration, values, and current industry trends. Its main goal is to contribute to teachers’ professional and personal development.
Jumpstarting the initial run of the HTBHET Seminar Series Online was a session held last April 23 for school owners and administrators called “Re-imagining School Leadership in the Time of COVID and Beyond.” It was facilitated by Dr. Edizon Fermin, vice president for Academic Affairs of National Teachers College, who is also a known expert on e-learning, literacy, teacher education, sociolinguistics, student affairs program development, and curriculum development.
The webinar series discussed what school leaders feared the most due to the current pandemic—closing down their schools—and explored scenario planning to help participants adopt a more open and forward-looking disposition.
“The webinar was factual, insightful, and helpful, and the speaker was able to discuss our concerns as school leaders,” said Russell Zabala of Precious Gem Academy, who was among the 500 school owners and administrators who joined the two-hour online seminar.
A repeat of this session is also scheduled on April 30. Fermin is also set to facilitate a webinar geared toward subject area coordinators called “Reconfiguring Learning Supervision in the Time of COVID and Beyond” on May 2. This aims to look at alternative delivery models of learning that will let participants embrace the new nuances of adaptive instructional leadership.
There will also be an upcoming learning session for teachers called “Rewiring Teaching in the Time of COVID and Beyond,” which will focus on the five important issues that every teacher has to know when delivering and facilitating learning services in a time of adversity.