NORTH COTABATO – The Ministry for Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) conducted the Review and Enhancement of Adaptive Learning Materials (ALMs) for the First Quarter of School Year 2021-2022 from August 23 to 28, 2021 to review the ALMs used by schools across the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during the pandemic.
The event was attended by 45 education professionals from the school divisions of Lanao Del Sur (LDS) I and II, Maguindanao I and II, Marawi City, Cotabato City, and the Special Geographic Areas pertaining to the 63 barangays from North Cotabato. It was organized by Save the Children Philippines with support from the Australian Government through the Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao Program.
The COVID-19 pandemic compelled the BARMM government to prohibit the conduct of traditional face-to-face classes and resort to home-based learning. However, the shift to online instruction and learning was challenging in the BARMM due to weak and unreliable internet connection in remote areas. Hence, the MBHTE employed ALMs and alternative modes of learning per its Education Continuity Plan.
“We cannot take advantage of the latest information technology because of infrastructure issues in areas of our school. Therefore, making sure that our ALMs are top quality is the best way we can respond to the call of our children for continuing education despite the pandemic,” said Caroline Marohom, Education Program Supervisor for the Lanao del Sur (LDS) II School Division. “What we lack in technology, we’ll make up in due diligence and effort.”
While the ALMs were deemed appropriate and accessible by learners, parents and teachers in a recent MBHTE-conducted rapid assessment survey participated in by 10,000 respondents, the positive results did not deter the MBHTE from further improving the ALMs. “Textbooks constantly undergo revisions. Even great authors have editors checking their works. Our ALMs are no different. We have to make sure that the materials we are giving to our students remain accurate, effective, and accessible,” said MBHTE Curriculum and Instruction Division Education Program Specialist Abdulbasit Talicop.
The ALMs should follow the characteristics set by the MBHTE: easy; simple; activity-based; engaging; cost-efficient; use materials found at home; strengthen family relations; encourage cooperation and collaboration; should relate to real-life setting; and home-based learning.
“The ALMs should be learner-centered, meaning they should be accessible to our students not just physically but their content. The materials should promote inclusivity, equality, and equity. We must also ensure that our materials are adaptive to the constantly changing times,” explained Talicop.
“Our continuing efforts to improve the ALMs must reflect the best efforts we’ve made in the past and the lessons we have learned from previous obstacles. Save the Children will continue to walk hand-in-hand with you to ensure that the ALMs help provide quality education to all our learners in the region,” said Byrone Fabiosa, Project Officer from Save the Children.
Plans to conduct a similar review and quality assurance for the remaining school divisions of the BARMM are already being planned.