Riding a motorcycle to different learning centers in hinterlands, sustaining the attention of distracted learners, and handling a multi-grade classroom are just some of the challenges that Alternative Learning System (ALS) mobile teachers face every day.
The COVID-19 health crisis has made it even tougher for them, as they look for ways to continue teaching their learners remotely.
To help the Department of Education (DepEd) – ALS of Butuan City continue teaching in the new normal, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) conducted an online workshop on the implementation of the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP). 49 mobile teachers and education program specialists joined the first run of the virtual training, dubbed as DLP In Action.
One of the attendees was Rachel Cassion, an ALS mobile teacher and Education Program Specialist of DepEd Butuan. “I heard about the DLP from a colleague in Cagayan de Oro and I have been longing for this teaching approach to be implemented in ALS Butuan as well. Even without the pandemic, this pedagogy would be suitable to ALS scenarios. As we resume our classes, we are thankful that we can now fully adopt it,” Cassion says.
Ana Marie Ceniza, ALS Focal Person of DepEd Butuan City believes DLP makes things easier for both the teachers and the learners, especially when social distancing is strictly imposed. “It gives the students more time to focus and absorb the topics, while teachers can easily track the learners’ progress through their activity sheets,” she explains.
“DLP also develops the psychomotor skills of the learners since writing is their main task. Their sense of accountability and responsibility are also more likely to develop,” Ceniza adds.
The CVIF-DLP is an innovative teaching pedagogy developed by Ramon Magsaysay Awardees and physicists, Dr. Chris Bernido and Dr. M. Victoria Carpio-Bernido. It is recognized by the DepEd as a Flexible Learning Option to hone students to be independent learners, as they continue their studies at home even with limited or no access to digital tools and internet, and with minimal teacher and parent intervention.
DLP in Action’s first virtual workshop facilitated by Dr. Ray Butch Mahinay, Regional ALS Focal Person of DepEd Region X, taught the Butuanon ALS educators how they could create their own Learning Activity Sheets (LAS). He also shared the best practices of DepEd ALS Region 10 and how DLP’s independent learning strategy has previously helped ALS mobile teachers in the region.
“DLP is proven as a crisis-resilient approach,” Dr. Mahinay says, pertaining to how it worked for students affected by Typhoon Sendong in 2011 and the Zamboanga siege in 2013.
“I am so happy to know that more divisions and educators are enlightened and willing to adopt this approach in the Alternative Learning System. This will help more learners, especially those without access to technology, pursue education amid the pandemic,” he explains.
DepEd-ALS Butuan is the first beneficiary of the DLP In Action online trainings following the Smart-led web conference dubbed No Learner Left Behind: Education For All In The New Normal. With over 400,000 views throughout its 3-day run, the virtual event was made possible by DepEd, PLDT-Smart Foundation, Gabay Guro, AHA Learning Center, Save The Children Philippines, World Vision Philippines, and Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation.
“We’ve supported the CVIF-Dynamic Learning Program for over 10 years now because it provides concrete, tried-and-tested solutions to the problems faced by the education sector, to ensure that no learner will get left behind,” said Stephanie Orlino, AVP for Community Partnerships at Smart.