A brighter future awaits the Filipino youth and alternative learners as a new foundation has stepped up to make learning via technology more accessible for all.
Solar Learning is a new educational foundation that aims to address the challenges in Philippine education by filling gaps in the issues of delivery, content and access. The foundation affiliated with film and TV media company Solar Entertainment Corporation is leveraging on partnerships with stakeholders, as well as on its experiences and resources in the broadcast industry, to offer an alternative learning structure for learners-in-the-margins.
“With ‘Bridging Gaps, Changing Lives through Educational Technologies’ as our battle cry, we desire to provide long-term solutions to Filipinos who dream of a better form of living,” announces Solar Learning President and CEO Mr. Wilson Tieng. He elaborates, “Our response is hinged on specific action: 1) distance learning via television and the Internet; 2) helping out-of-school-youth and adults finish junior high school; and 3) training individuals to acquire skills for better employment.”
Aside from Mr. Tieng’s own Solar TV networks, those who are giving support include: the Department of Education Alternative Learning System (DepEd ALS); DepEd’s basic education learning continuity plan, DepEd NCR Prime; AidED Philippines which is a consortium composed of La Salle Green Hills, Namnama Social Ventures and KlikEd Open Learning System; the country’s first entrepreneurship college, Thames International; and Sandiwaan Center for Learning.
Last Sept. 13, Solar Learning has made available on Digital Free-To-Air TV Channel 21 in Metro Manila the DepEd NCR Prime Channel, or K-3TV DepED NCR Prime, in time for the beginning of the school year. K-3TV is a dedicated channel for the Key Stage 1 pupils, which include those in Kinder to Grade 3. This venture demonstrates the public-private partnership that Solar Learning is advocating. This is initially seen with Deped NCR providing the channel's content and students' modules, and Thames International serving as consultant on the printed modules and video lessons presented on Solar's platforms.
Mr. Tieng underscores, “K-3TV seeks to reach out to Key Stage 1 students, initiate them in the concept of school and impart age-appropriate lessons while their access to in-person classes is still limited. Our long-term objective is to make K-3TV available outside Metro Manila, with each provincial channel localizing its lessons and tailor-fitting these to the students in their respective areas.”
The foundation also offers the Solar Learning Tuklas Digital ALS developed in partnership with La Salle Green Hills; it is an enhanced, digital, and asynchronous program delivered through the Tuklas mobile application. Solar Learning Tuklas Digital ALS is patterned after DepEd's curriculum for the Accreditation and Equivalency Program, an alternative pathway for persons who are literate but are unable to complete 10 years of basic education mandated by the Constitution. Through Tuklas Digital ALS, learners have a chance to study and complete Junior High School by way of blended learning (Internet, Pay-television, videos, and individualized mentorship). According to Mr. Tieng, “We are proud to say that the experience of our Solar Learning Tuklas Digital ALS learners will be unparalleled. This is because their exclusive tests, assessments, activities and video lessons are developed and implemented by La Salle Green Hills’ teachers.”
Soon, Solar Learning, in partnership with Thames International, will also be offering vocational programs to educate and train students on specific skills required by the job market.
DepEd Regional Director Willy Cabral affirmed Solar Learning’s advocacies when he says: “Designing education for all is a valuable essence that allows for public-private partnerships... As we move towards closing the gaps for accessible learning, Solar Learning offers new opportunities for discovery learning as well.”
For more information on Solar Learning, visit SolarLearningPH on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, or email email@example.com.