DOST-NCR Addresses the Need of Assistance for Education in the Metro through DOST Courseware

"Our education system needed a 180-degree shift. Under the new normal brought about by the pandemic, institutions had to explore ways to bridge potential learning gaps in the blended (non-face to face) modes of teaching and communicating information," said Jose B. Patalinjug III, DOST-National Capital Region Director as he welcomed participants to the "STEM E-learning Opportunities in the New Normal" webinar last October 23, 2020. The activity introduced Grades 1 to 8 private and public school teachers to the DOST-Courseware and highlighted the agency's goal of making scientific knowledge more accessible for the general public in Metro Manila.

With the challenges brought by Pandemic, the DOST Courseware can both be a teaching and self-learning aid for teachers and students alike as it is a software or stand-alone application for school and home use.

Ms. Josephine Santiago-Feliciano, Project Lead for DOST-Courseware development, highlighted the key features of this locally-produced, all-original Filipino highly interactive multimedia educational resource packages for Grades 1 to 8. Supporting DepEd's basic education curriculum, the courseware seeks to optimize, streamline and standardize the lesson presentations of Science and Mathematics pursuant with DepEd's campaign with the tagline: "Sama-sama sa pag SULONG ng #EduKALIDAD."

This educational software was conceptualized and digitized by the Science Education Institute (SEI-DOST) in collaboration with the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI-DOST), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Normal University (PNU) and the University of the Philippines-National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (UP-NISMED). It was made to assist both teachers and students as the country's educational system transitions into blended modes of learning.

The DOST Courseware modules are now available on both Android and Apple devices. It started with MS Windows, where a ZIP file of modules can be downloaded through the Science Education Institute website. The program included 413 lessons, 102 Modules in Science and Mathematics for Elementary Schools (Volume 1), 60 Grade 1-6 Mathematics (Volume 2), 113 Grade 7 Science and Mathematics (Volume 3), and 118 Grade 8 Science and Mathematics (Volume 3).

The Android version, on the other hand, had 60 lessons for Grade 1-6 Mathematics (Volume 2), 12 for Grade 3-6 Science (Volume 1), 20 for Grade 7 Science and Mathematics (Volume 3), and 20 for Grade 8 Science and Mathematics (Volume 3) for a total of 112 apps available on Google Play. While the iOS version had 20 educational apps, 10 lessons for Grade 7 Science and Mathematics, and another 10 for Grade 8 Science and Mathematics.

Using modern gadgets as tools, there should be no hindrance to learning. No one, regardless of status, should ever be deprived of knowledge when they are eager to learn and can be properly taught. All it takes is patience, determination and effective use of innovations.

The Courseware utilization can be maximized today through the Virtual Classroom, as a supplementary resource material - a timely tool for blended-learning. The modules are FREE and easy to use. Ms. Ruby D. Lana, SEI's Science Education and Innovations Division Chief paid homage to educators with a quotation that reminds them of the wondrous fruits of their labor, "Ang pagtuturo lamang ang propesyon na pinanggagalingan ng iba pang propesyon." Educators in essence bring out hidden passions and nurture capabilities in each individual student, help them navigate towards the fulfillment of their dreams, and prepare their wings for creative flights of their imagination.

"We heal as one. We work as one. Para sa bata. Para sa bayan."