May 7, 2018
Amid the rise of new technology like automation and data science applications, three Japanese volunteers from Kansai University in Osaka, Japan introduced integrating information and communications technology (ICT) in the classroom in select Leyte schools to help boost the competitiveness of Filipino teachers and students.
The volunteers, dispatched under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Volunteer Program, belong to Kansai University's Faculty of Informatics and Graduate School. They held demo classes among students, conducted ICT training to teachers and coordinators, and introduced ICT materials in Tanauan II Central Elementary School in Leyte.
"In Japan, using ICT in classes help students think and understand deeply, and become more interested in learning, and for teachers, ICT can help them explain the lessons easily," said Japanese volunteer Arata Torii. "With the implementation of K to 12 in the Philippines, common knowledge on ICT in classes will benefit the students."
Torii, together with other young Japanese volunteers Naoko Hasegawa and Kaho Konishi were in Leyte for a month and met with teachers to promote use of software tools like PowerPoint, MovieMaker, and video conferencing in Grade 4-6 classes.
"The Japanese volunteers helped our students become more interested in the learning process. They learned how to work out their ideas using new technology," said Minodora Cinco, teacher for Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health (MAPEH) in Tanauan II Central Elementary School.
Based on a World Bank report on ICT Education in Philippine setting, the Department of Education (DepEd) has incorporated ICT in the school curriculum as early as Grade 4, conducted capacity building of teachers on ICT, and promoted increased access to digital resources among students.
"Our school plans to continue the knowledge we have learned from the Japanese volunteers by using ICT in teaching and improving our internet and ICT facilities," added Cinco.
The Japanese volunteers are part of the JICA Volunteer Program meant to involve Japanese citizens to support socio-economic development needs of Japan's partner countries. Currently, there are 36 JICA volunteers dispatched to the Philippines.
Japanese volunteers (in orange) from Kansai University's Faculty of Informatics and Graduate School dispatched under JICA's Volunteer Program conducted ICT training to teachers in Tanauan II Central Elementary School in Leyte