October 12, 2017
As support to the Philippines' move to develop globally competitive students, Japan's Saitama Board of Education is sharing Japanese active learning concept and teaching techniques with select pilot schools in Cebu City.
Cebu schools namely Guadalupe Elementary School, Cebu City National Science High School, and Mandaue Comprehensive National High School were introduced to so-called Knowledge Constructive Jigsaw (KCJ) method that the Saitama Prefecture implements to train Japanese students into becoming experts via collaboration.
KCJ is one of the strategies under Japan's active learning methodology that deviates from traditional teacher-centered model of lectures and rote memorization. Said methodology is seen to boost engagement of students in classrooms.
"We hope that promoting active learning will enable Filipino students to make better use of the knowledge they acquired from the school in the long-term and at the same time develop their critical thinking skills. These are of course essential in encouraging students to become productive citizens who are able to contribute meaningfully to nation building later on," said Dr. Emiliano Elnar, Chief Education Supervisor of the Department of Education Region 7.
The activity is a component of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Technical Cooperation for Grassroots Project (TCGP) that aims to implement development projects of Japanese non-profit groups, local governments, and universities using Japanese knowledge and experience.
"Through the project, JICA aims to share Japanese know-how and techniques in implementing 21st century education model that veers away from spoon-fed educational experience to techniques that engage students and foster thinking skills," said JICA Section Chief Flerida Chan.
A research paper by Julia Christmas for Japan's Miyazaki International College showed that the active learning model has a positive effect on the students' engagement and achievement in school. The method is also seen to have lowered attrition rates among students.
Already, a group of educators from the pilot schools and from DepEd Region 7 and Central Office have visited Saitama this year to study the active learning model and study best practices in teaching in Japan schools.
Historically, Japan's economic resurgence depended on education and human resource development among other factors. As long-standing development partner of the Philippines, Japan through JICA's development cooperation activities in the education sector has been supporting Philippine education systems through building of classrooms, capacity building of teachers, and people-to-people exchange since the 1960s.