I believe that with strong collaboration with our partners, like Knowledge Channel Foundation, we can create a learning environment that is meaningful, relevant, and useful for our learners.”
By Michael Ramos and Elna Santana
Photos by Nina Sherizze de Sagun and Azrael Gonzales
60 public schools in Rizal Province have recently been connected to the Knowledge Channel through their own fundraising efforts and the initiative of a persistent education leader.
August Jamora has been with the Department of Education (DepEd) since 2002 and a public servant for almost 17 years. He started as a humble school teacher and was promoted to Education Program Supervisor (EPS) in Learning Resource Materials and Development System for the DepEd Schools Division of Rizal Province in 2015. He was also selected by DepEd to be a curriculum writer for the K to 12 Program from 2011 to 2015.
Gaining much respect and admiration from his colleagues, his experience and role as EPS allowed him to review and decide on plans that would best help teachers deliver to their students the important topics being taught in Araling Panlipunan. “Mabilis yung process of learning ng mga bata. Hindi lang dapat nakikita at nababasa ng learners yung materials. Dapat napapanood niya ito, navivisualize niya,” said August.
With this context in mind, he came across Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc., (KCFI) which developed multimedia learning materials (MMLR) for public school learners, provided schools ways to access these through technology, and trained teachers on 21st Century pedagogies. “Multimedia became a big factor in bringing Knowledge Channel to Rizal schools,” said August. “This is part of the 21st Century skills to be developed on learners. Some of them are information, communication, and technology skills.”
Believing in the impact of multimedia in learning, he pioneered an initiative that has never been done before – for every public school in his division to have an educational multimedia system. Often overlooked by other teachers, school leaders like August had a viewpoint that multimedia is essential to a 21st Century classroom environment.
His way of achieving this dream was by encouraging teachers to prioritize multimedia and maximize it in their teaching through ABS-CBN TV Plus as it carried Knowledge Channel. It was a cost-efficient way for each school in Rizal to gain access to hundreds of educational multimedia resources at minimal cost.
August’s dream finally got the green light when DepEd Division of Rizal and KCFI finally inked a formal partnership. “I prepared a division memorandum for public elementary and secondary public school teachers to purchase Knowledge Channel through TV Plus, but the method or approach is up to them as long as the initative would not deviate from DepEd’s programs and projects.”
And it was not difficult for August to pitch this to the principals and teachers. “Nakita namin na number one: the package of the materials is aligned with the K to 12 program and curriculum guides ng public school,” he said. “In terms of implementation, no question about the curriculum content [of Knowledge Channel]. The pedagogical approaches shown in the videos are not so different from those of the teachers.”
“We are also able to localize and contextualize the content provided by Knowledge Channel. The videos are relevant, meaningful, and useful to our learners,” he added.
With support from the School District Supervisors, August started to orient school coordinators on how they can acquire more resource materials for their learners. He pitched ways on how schools can raise funds to install TV sets or projectors and other technological devices like ABS-CBN TV Plus in their classrooms. “I advised teachers and principals on how they can acquire these without having to pay directly. This can be done through school programs, community projects, partnerships with alumni and private companies near schools without deviating from existing DepEd orders,” he said.
By teaching teachers on how to effectively engage stakeholders, schools managed to raise funds with the help of their alumni, parent-teacher associations, local government units, and even barangay captains.
August proudly shared the results of this initiative. “60 schools ang meron nang [ABS-CBN TV Plus]. Ang target ko talaga, out of 200 elementary schools and 89 secondary schools and 40 SHS, at least 50% on the first year for 2016. More or less nasa 30 percent out of 100 percent.”
August continues to monitor the 60 schools that are now connected to Knowledge Channel and based on some interviews with teachers, the impact has been positive on the children. “May isa pa ngang nag-excel sa academic contest sa Bilibiran ES,” he proudly added.
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Knowledge Channel Foundation, Inc (KCFI) is a non-government, non-profit organization that works to help uplift the life of the Filipino through media and technology. Since 1999, KCFI has been transforming classroom experiences into unique and engaging learning journeys. It develops and distributes curriculum-based multimedia learning resources for preschool, K-to-12, and the Alternative Learning System via the Knowledge Channel and other platforms. It also implements professional development programs for teachers and education leaders.