BUILD STRONGER FOUNDATIONS: Enhancing the Resilience of Schools during COVID-19 and Beyond




The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Philippine education sector to upgrade its capabilities to deliver remote learning. With more than a year spent in distance education, schools reflect on how the current disruptions would impact them in the long run. Providing school leaders and subject area coordinators a safe space to discuss this is one of the main objectives of Diwa iFLEx for Home-Based Education (Diwa iFLEx Season 2), held last April 16, Friday. The last out of the five learning sessions of this run was attended by around a thousand educators from Mindanao.


This year’s Diwa iFLEx highlights the possible changes in education in the coming months and the post-pandemic future. It also emphasized how schools can contribute to the reskilling and upskilling of their learners and teachers for dramatically altered and non-traditional learning and teaching scenarios moving forward.


Mr. Edizon A. Fermin, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs of National Teachers College, led the discussion. As a published researcher and national trainer advocating learner-centered outcomes-based education, he has coached teachers from preschool to tertiary levels and even technical and vocational schools.


During his talk, he noted that for schools to discover their next plan of action, they need to assess and analyze how their stakeholders (i.e., teachers, students, and parents) reacted to the learning continuity strategy they have implemented in the current school year.


“When deciding whether or not to sustain with your current learning continuity plan, ask yourselves these questions: What are the better options to continue learning? Will these options yield meaningful engagement or learning? Will they empower your stakeholders to co-animate? Will it endear your stakeholders to sustain change? And will it enhance your relationship with them?,” said Dr. Fermin.


Joining him as featured educators are Ms. Nenita Bincal, principal of Pagadian Golden School Learning Center, Pagadian City; and Ms. Evelyn Nufable, principal of St. Louise de Marillac School of Miag-ao, Iloilo. In a special segment during the learning session, both of them shared how their schools remain resilient and optimistic in the face of adversities.


“We at Pagadian Golden School are very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with Diwa since our establishment in 2012. Being an educator, I have the vision to equip my learners with the necessary 21st-century skills to prepare them for global advancement. Diwa’s Textbooks and Genyo e-Learning (Genyo) made it easier for us to navigate the gargantuan challenges of distance learning. Our teachers were still able to achieve their instructional goals as emphasized in DepEd’s Most Essential Learning Competencies and as supported by the RELEVANT educational resources we availed from Diwa. This is proven by the happy and gratifying responses of students during their synchronous classes. Most of the parents also expressed their satisfaction through calls and messages,” attested by Ms. Bincal.


Ms. Nufable added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a chance to become more collaborative with our stakeholders including parents. We enjoined them in our mission to provide our learners with quality education by creating communication channels for student monitoring. For S.Y. 2020-2021, we have implemented what we call the modular electronic assisted learning which makes use of modules and Diwa’s Supplemental Educational Magazines (SEMs) that contain localized curriculum-based articles and assessments. We are confident that with our improved relationship with our learners and their parents, we can get through these difficult times.”


Diwa Textbooks, SEMs, and Genyo are Diwa 5G. Diwa 5G is an innovative suite of educational resources that help schools create ENGAGING, FLEXIBLE, ACCESSIBLE, ENRICHING, and RELEVANT teaching and learning spaces that place learners at the center of the experience.