Rex Education acquires award-winning K-12 ICT provider to develop “Schools Of The Future”

Published June 11, 2021, 9:57 AM

by Jonathan Castillo

Photos from Robothon 2019

The present and the future are rapidly changing. In 10 years’ time, 50% of jobs will be changed by automation, and 9 out of 10 jobs will require digital skills. But are our students learning the right digital skills to prepare and equip them as they enter this immensely digital world?

According to studies made by the World Economic Forum, while globalization and rapid advancements in technology continue to transform the world as we know it, education systems are still detached from the needs of the global economy. In the world, 14 of the top 30 brands are platform-based companies. In the Philippines, the most in-demand jobs are those that require digital skills such as digital marketers, graphic designers, user interface developers, and tech support among others.

In reality, most of these in-demand 21st century skills are introduced to students later on in their education. In addition to digital skills, many vital skills like collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity, character building, and computational thinking are lost in a traditional curriculum, which impede many students’ development and preparedness later on in life.

Rex Education believes that digital awareness and holistic character formation should start at an early age, so that learners learn to use technology more responsibly, and approach the jobs of the future more intelligently.

Rex has always been at the forefront of leading-edge innovation when it comes to educational materials and resources. Guided by REX Education’s principles of Edukampyon, which advocates for the championing of Whole Child education, the company tailors all of its products and services to encourage learner-centered education, so that schools can improve and provide relevant learning content, learning experience, and literacy programs that will help equip learners to become responsible, productive, and thriving citizens of the future.

The Covid-19 pandemic pushed the education sector to adapt to the realities of the 21st century. As one of the first respondents to this disruption, the company saw the need to ramp up the technological capabilities of schools across the country.

First Eduspec, Inc. (FEI) joins the Rex Group of Companies

In response to the new normal of education and the rapidly evolving needs of the 21st century, Rex Education acquired First Eduspec, Inc. (FEI)—a multi-national and award-winning K-12 STEAM education provider. FEI provides innovative information and communication technology- (ICT) and robotics-driven educational programs for schools, incorporating digital learning fundamentals in today’s teaching and learning environment. Their programs are on-par with global standards, powered by partnerships with top global educational institutions, and accredited by global certifying bodies with only the highest standards in the provision of the latest industry-relevant curriculum around the world.

Leveraging on its 70 years of experience in the education industry and FEI’s expertise in the STEAM segment, Rex Education endeavors to turn the schools of today into schools of the future through a one-stop STREAM program that incorporates Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics into the basic curriculum. This STREAM program leverages ICT and Robotics as tools to create digital learning programs, interactive e-learning solutions, and professional training for teachers and students to establish an approach appropriate for the emerging 4th industrial revolution.

Education 4.0: The future is now

The 4th industrial revolution calls for many global institutions to adapt Education 4.0—an approach to learning that aligns itself with the needs and demands of the 21st century, where education is revolutionized with the capabilities of technology for a fun, enriching, and better learning experience.

Together, Rex and FEI aim to develop schools grounded by the Education 4.0 approach through a STREAM-equipped product suite, whose goal is to educate every Filipino Whole Learner so that they inquire like scientists, design like technologists, build like engineers, create like artists, and solve like mathematicians.

To accomplish this, the STREAM approach methodically integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math into a holistic learning environment that conditions students with positive learning attitudes and behaviors. Computational Thinking becomes the core of this environment, where students learn how to apply computer logic and thinking to cultivate 21st century skill sets.

This ICT-focused learning starts as early as Grade 1, where STREAM for Beginners will help learners build strong foundations in math and sciences through self-paced and self-directed learning. Students will also start early with STEM with Robotics 4.0, where they can focus on enhancing their analytical and problem-solving skills through programming with Lego and VEXIQ, and prototyping. By Grade 4, STEAM Robotics and Coding builds the foundations of computational thinking applied through the creation of animations and interactive games, and designing and programming simple robots. For Grades 11 and 12, STEAM: Circuits and IOT will introduce learners to electronics and programming using web-based platform and Arduino IDE, a leading open-source software used by ICT schools and professionals across the globe.

Rex Education—in partnership with FEI—is to date the number one provider of end-to-end STREAM curriculum in the country. All programs are deliverable through different implementation modalities—from face-to-face to online and blended learning—so that schools are able to adapt the program as early as possible.

With FEI on the curriculum, Rex believes that the learners of today are transformed into global citizens, ready for the jobs and demands of the jobs of the future.

Full Steam Ahead: A STREAM webinar

To help spread the word and start the conversation on the importance of incorporating STREAM in today’s curriculum, Rex Education organized a webinar titled “Full Steam Ahead: Every Learner A Champion in the New Normal.” The discussion on the impact of the new normal on education and the need for STREAM-based learning was led by Professor Alfons Pelgone, an expert on STREAM education, and complimented by a panel discussion with fellow STREAM advocates Dr. James Pattaguan, Sr. Felicitas Bernardo, Rufino Olay, and David Gian Feria.

The webinar highlighted how the Philippines lagged behind the Global Innovation Index, which speaks of the weak culture of science and technology innovation in the country. In response, the Department of Science and Technology is pushing for Filipinnovation, which lobbies for the development of research facilities and support for technology adoption across schools and businesses.

The webinar also discussed the jobs of the future, and how institutions can help prepare their students for these opportunities by leveling up their learning content and experience with STREAM-based learning. Some of the most important themes that will be strengthened by a STREAM-based education are problem-based learning, engagement of students through science and technology, and gender equality and the encouragement of women to go into science, resulting into the filling of hard-to-fill ICT jobs.