The Department of Education (DepEd) – National Capital Region (NCR) commended a training project that was designed to revolutionize teaching in the “new normal” brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country.
DepEd NCR Regional Director Malcolm Garma explained that the use of printed modules for learning delivery is “not sustainable in the long run” – given the costs and impact on the environment.
Given this, Garma said that “online learning is one of the solutions and now is the time to train our teachers.” This need, he added, is being addressed by the “HEROES 2021” teacher training project by Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank).
UnionBank led the co-creation of an innovative digital corporate social responsibility program that helped a pioneering batch of 80,000 public school teachers upgrade their digital capability as the country’s education sector rallies private sector support for the blended learning approach.
Along with its subsidiary City Savings Bank, UnionBank spearheaded a partnership with Thames International and Akadasia to design a “holistic digital trainin program” that caters to the specific needs of about 500,000 elementary and high school teachers under the umbrella movement called “HEROES 2021.”
Aside from financial support to run the online training platform, UnionBank’s CSR initiative also harnessed the digital skills of its employee volunteers to design easy-to-use and engaging modules to build the soft skills of teachers so they can become effective facilitators of DepEd’s blended learning strategy.
“The pilot batch of 80,000 is just the beginning and we have our work cut out to be able to upskill the target 500,000 teachers and we are doing our part by activating our digitally savvy employee volunteers to deliver on our promise of co-creating innovations for a better world by utilizing technology and its PeopleTech thrust through this CSR initiative,” said UnionBank CSR and Sustainability Manager Angela Justo.
PeopleTech Initiative focuses on the Bank’s social sustainability mission and is part of the overall strategy to ‘Tech Up Pilipinas’, the Heroes 2021 way, to amplify the reach of the support given by UnionBank and CitySavings employee-volunteers.
With this, UnionBank is revolutionizing the way CSR projects are being conducted. The pandemic has not only affected the business model of the bank, it has also caused a shift on how to reach out to its communities.
“We conducted Heroes 2021 mainly to equip teachers in educating Filipino students online,” said Derrick Nicdao, UnionBank Channel Activity Management Head and one of the employee volunteers. “As we all know, online learning is almost new to everyone, this is our contribution to the communities,” he added.