The innovative strategies of Filipino educators were recognized in the Southeast Asian Educational Innovation Awards (SEA EIA).
Conferred by SEAMEOINNOTECH, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology will formally receive recognition in the upcoming 45th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on Nov. 29.
The four awardees were chosen from more than 350 classroom and school innovations nominated from six Southeast Asian countries which include Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The innovations introduced by the teachers and school heads stood out among those developed in schools across the region.
The winners were chosen after a rigorous three-phased selection and review.
Each winner will receive a trophy of recognition and a travel grant of up to 3,000 USD each to be awarded by Her Excellency, Minister Treenuch Thienthong, Minister of Education of Thailand.
The awardees will also present their winning innovations in a Knowledge Forum among Thai educators organized by the Teachers Council of Thailand and INNOTECH in Bangkok on Nov. 28 at Centara Hotel Bangkok Phra Nakhon.
Joana B. Romano, a Master Teacher I from Melencio M. Castelo Elementary School in Payatas, Quezon City, won in the Teachers’ Innovations category for improving kindergarten performance in mathematics and reading through digital applications and reading videos.
Romano developed an offline, game-based digital application coupled with a set of video materials to teach Kindergarten students mathematics and reading in their Mother Tongue.
The digital app and videos have helped her students improve their mathematics and reading skills while also developing positive attitudes toward the subjects.
Two Filipino educators also won in the School Head Innovations category.
Mary Hazel Ballena, the Principal of Bucay North Elementary School in Abra, developed the TEACH TALK (Teachers’ Engagement, Action, and Commitment in Assisting Learners at Home to Think, Ask, Listen, and Build New Knowledge).
The system was developed to continue reaching out to learners despite the lack of internet service. At the school’s initiative, teachers used a different medium to deliver learning to their students in the middle of the pandemic.
Through the partnership with different stakeholders, the school was able to provide handheld two-way radio for every student which they used to deliver lessons, conduct learner assessments, and conduct parent orientation and meetings.
As observed through their learners’ performances throughout the year, the students yielded favorable learning outcomes and increased their school performance in every subject.
This project also strengthened the bond between the teachers, their learners, and the parents as they were able to communicate freely and immediately.
Rowan L. Celestra, the Principal of Buenavista Elementary School in Sorsogon City, spearheaded the E-NAY.COM (Education for Nanay in the Community) project.
The project is to capacitate the “Nanay” (Mothers) in the community to be learning facilitators. During the pandemic, parents have taken a bigger role in facilitating the learning of their children at home.
Celestra thought of making everyone in the community a part of the distance learning process. It appeared to be the best option for a community that does not have access to the internet or television.
Along with capacitating the mothers, the project also established a learning center in every purok (sub-villages) which serves as a library, a drop-off point for learning modules and accomplished activity sheets, and when called for, a classroom.
Through the small community learning centers established, and with the help of the Mother Teacher Volunteers, learners were able to continue learning engagingly.
The project did not only benefit the learners, but it also empowered the mothers in the community as they become partners in their children’s learning during the emergency.
Aside from the Filipino educators, Betya Sahara, a Teacher at SLB Negeri Kota Banjarbaru in Kalimantan Selatan, Indonesia, was also among the awardees for the Teachers’ Innovations category.
She is responsible for the development and Implementation of “Dara” applications to learn sound perception and communication of deaf children during the Covid-19 pandemic.
INNOTECH said it takes pride in recognizing these outstanding teachers and school heads through the first cycle of the Southeast Asian Educational Innovation Awards. “Their creativity and innovation effectively addressed the needs of their learners in this challenging situation,” INNOTECH said.
“More importantly, the passion and dedication they inspired will continue to inspire others on this journey to provide a better future for every learner,” it added.
Their award-winning works were featured in the first issue of the INNOTECH Educational Innovation Digest.