RM Award Foundation touts Internet-free Dynamic Learning Program

As the country prepares for a shift to distance learning this school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) has been urged to revisit a learning program which promotes independent learning without depending on the Internet or other technology.


In an effort to make alternative learning a success, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation urged the DepEd to revisit the innovative Dynamic Learning Program (DLP) developed by Dr. Christoper Bernido and Dr. Ma. Victoria Carpio Bernido as early as 1999 - for which they were honored with the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

With its design, the Bernidos’ DLP is most relevant today in the midst of the pandemic since it is not dependent on the internet or broadcast platforms. It is also unhampered by issues such as whether or not teachers, parents, and students are ready to use online or blended learning.

This DLP contains a series of modules that students can learn on their own. Given this, students can be more attentive and focused on the tasks they have to accomplish. It can be a useful program to complement the DepEd efforts for learning continuity this school year.

In 2010, Dr. Christopher Bernido and Dr. Ma. Victoria Carpio Bernido won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s Premier Prize, for their “their purposeful commitment to both science and nation; ensuring innovative, low cost, and effective basic education even under Philippine conditions of great scarcity and daunting poverty.”

The husband and wife team, both UP professors and physicists, created a stir in the small port town of Jagna, Bohol when they conducted a social experiment – using activity modules that they developed to teach 500 students of a small barrio school known as the Central Visayan Institute Foundation.

The successful DLP experiment was later exported to other schools in Bohol - paving the way for many students in the province to pass entrance exams in well-known universities and be among the top students nationwide. The innovative DLP method promotes independent learning in students to improve their academic performance especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM.

It was also designed to bypass the lack of qualified teachers, lack of equipment and lack of textbooks, making it cost effective. It only uses 30% or about 15 minutes of the class spent on lectures while 70% of the time is devoted to student-driven activities that seek to achieve clear learning targets.

A complex task given to students can be divided into smaller tasks or activities. A smaller task can still be divided further into easier steps so each can become simpler and doable even without teacher intervention or a prior lecture. By the end of the school year, the students shall have answered 6,000 questions in science, math, economics, history, and other subjects.

The Bernidos’ DLP is recognized in 150 public high schools in Bohol, and in the provinces of Cagayan de Oro, Negros Oriental, and Basilan. It has now reached more schools in other provinces as part of the PLDT/Smart Communications education outreach program.

The DLP system is also compliant with the K to 12 curriculum of the DepEd and has been adopted by over 1,000 public and private schools in the country. It is being considered for use by schools in Singapore and Vietnam.