Beginning this school year, mobile learning program Text2Teach is set to boost quality of education in 15 elementary schools in Patikul, Sulu, one of the most remote island groups in the Philippines where student dropout rate has reached alarming proportions.
Text2Teach is a collaboration between the private and public sectors composed of Globe Telecom, Ayala Foundation, Nokia, Pearson Foundation, Toshiba, the Department of Education, and the local government units.
“The T2T Alliance brought Text2Teach to Sulu not only to help improve quality of education in the province but also to serve as a catalyst for peace and development efforts. Text2Teach helps forge and deepen cooperation between the local government of Sulu, the Philippine Marine Corps, and the academe to engage in educational programs as an effective way to pursue peace and prosperity in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” said Fernando Esguerra, Director, Globe Corporate Social Responsibility. Globe funded 10 of the 15 schools while the rest was supported by Mindanao Grains.
Col. Antonio G. Mangoroban Jr, a Batallion Commander of the Philippine Marine Corp. said: “Ang kaalaman ay siyang magpapalaya sa ating lahat at magmumulat upang iunlad ang sarili, ang pamilya, at ang komunidad (Knowledge will set all of us free and will open our eyes to improve ourselves, our families, and the community). Through this program we will be negating whatever current difficulties we have in bringing educational materials to our youth in Sulu so that they can receive the same kind of learning materials as that of the rest of the country.”
The alliance selected Patikul due to lack of core educational resources such as textbooks and regular teacher training in its public elementary schools which add to low quality learning in the classroom and a very high 50% drop out rate by end of primary schooling caused primarily by the low value accorded to education by both parents and students.
The Text2Teach training program is expected to boost teacher morale and enhance the learning environment in the classroom, with the end-goal of significantly lowering the drop-out rate and significantly increase the learning gains.
Through Text2Teach, the alliance aims to address the lack of appeal of education by providing an abundant supply of teaching resources such as 360 educational video materials on English, Math, Science and Values Education downloaded via Nokia Education Delivery.
The videos which can be played in a 32” LCD TV donated by Toshiba provide a highly-effective visual aid for teachers and create an interactive, student-focused learning environment in the classroom which makes the students eager to attend school. It comes with lesson plans that are fully integrated into the basic education curriculum and created to meet local education guidelines and standards.
Meanwhile, Globe also provides pre-paid SIM cards, free P150 monthly load allowance for one year to each beneficiary-school to be used for helpdesk concerns, and an additional P1,000 load if there are new or updated materials to be downloaded using its network.
There are now about 1,054 Text2Teach schools nationwide with the alliance looking to increase count to 1407 schools by the end of the year.