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CO-FACILITATORS TO CO-ANIMATORS: Online Training Dwells on Parent Involvement in Flexible Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic forced parents to be more engaged in the learning of their children like never before. With school campuses currently closed, they have to work with educators in the implementation of distance learning. Educators then have to effectively guide parents to ensure that learning happens. To help educators with this crucial task is one of the main objectives of Diwa iFLEx for Home-Based Education (Diwa iFLEx) Season 2 held last March 26, Friday. Its fourth out of five learning sessions was attended by more than a thousand educators from the Visayas.

During its initial run last July and August of 2020, Diwa iFLEx placed education in the context of the next classroom which is the home. It also emphasized how teachers and parents should work together to assure the unhampered delivery of quality education to learners. For this year, the training program aims to highlight the need for parents to transition from being co-facilitators to co-animators in preparation for the necessary adjustments that are to be made in the next normal.

Mr. Edizon A. Fermin, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs of National Teachers College, served as the session’s thought leader. Beyond being just a renowned national speaker and trainer, he currently co-chairs the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) Technical Panel in Teacher Education. He is also an active member of CHED’s Technical Working Group in Flexible Learning.

In his discussion, he stated that as the education industry moves towards the recovery and reconfiguration stage, schools should redefine the role of teachers and parents in the lives of the students, and that includes the assessment of the routines and habits they instilled during the shift to distance learning.

“The whole idea that schools are saying that parents are co-facilitators of learning was not a helpful starting point philosophically and practically speaking, as it only focuses on perfection-driven learning and making things easier for the students. However, the research in education disruptions tells us that the focus should have been training parents and teachers to become co-animators which involves the habits of creating spaces that are safe and will guarantee fun and frustration-free learning,” said Mr. Fermin.

Moreover, joining him as featured educators are Rev. Fr. Sherwin O. Ferrater, principal of Academia de San Isidro Labrador, Cebu City; and Ms. Evelyn Nufable, principal of Saint Louise de Marillac School of Miag-ao, Iloilo City. Both of them shared how their schools successfully implemented their learning continuity plan and how they involved parents in the development of their new education schemes moving forward.

“We realized that innovation is the name of the game, hence we need to adapt. We focused our marketing efforts on communicating how our school is fully-equipped to deliver online remote instruction and assessment with the help of Genyo e-Learning (Genyo). We also leveraged on the learning management system’s (LMS) FLEXIBLE features as it can be used in different learning environments—whether it’s classroom, distance, or blended. We also enjoined the parents in trainings and orientations related to the LMS usage, so they can help their children in their learning journey,” said Fr. Ferrater.

Ms. Nufable’s school, on the other hand, implemented what they call modular electronic assisted learning which makes use of modules and Diwa’s Supplemental Educational Magazines (SEMs) in education delivery. “In our school, we were able to promote individualized learning through the balance of content found in our print and electronic modules, as well as through Diwa SEMs which enable students to expand their knowledge in unexplored areas whenever and wherever they are. And of course, this new process involves asking the support of parents in monitoring the progress of their children,” she attested.

Genyo and SEMs are Diwa 5G. Diwa 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.

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