The unforeseen spread of COVID19 is driving educational institutions to deliver classes in a flexible modality and explore technologies and alternatives that could aid the delivery of instruction in a non-face-to-face mode (Reimers & Schleicher, 2020). As “education must continue even in times of crises whether it may be a calamity, disaster, emergency, quarantine, or even war” (Department of Education, 2020a), proper training for teachers and education leaders must be in place to capacitate them for remote teaching and build resilience against this pandemic scenario (Beteille, 2020).
The Need to Train Teachers
The need to train teachers and school leaders and build their capacity is anchored on several local and internationally published data. International and local student assessments have proven the dire need for teachers to be trained as they are in the front line of education. Two recently released international assessment information has confirmed our poor performance in comparison with our global community, the Trends in International Math and Science Study 2019 (TIMSS 2019) and the Program for International Student Assessment 2018 (PISA 2018). The PISA results have shown that out of the 79 countries who participated in the examination, our country's performance is last in terms of Reading and second to the last in Science and Mathematics (OECD, 2019). The same trend results are revealed by the Trends in International Math and Science Study 2019 where our grade 4 pupils who took the test, ranked last in both Math and Science tests out of the 58 countries who joined the examination. The same can be observed in the trend in the performance of our students in our very own National Achievement Test (Gain & Ancho, 2019).
"The PISA results have shown that out of the 79 countries who participated in the examination, our country's performance is last in terms of Reading and second to the last in Science and Mathematics (OECD, 2019)."
The performance of students in standardized assessment is a reflection of the quality of teaching and learning. The information available on these assessment data sources confirm the need to explore opportunities to improve education practices, and that includes capacitating our teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to cope with the challenges of the times. Supporting our teacher’s professional development had been seen to affect assessment results such as the National Achievement Test (Gain & Ancho, 2019). It is therefore just appropriate that trainings and seminars are offered for teachers to upgrade their technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge.
The world being in the “New Normal” also reminds education stakeholders about the importance of Twenty-first-century teaching that requires approaches that actively meets the demands of digital natives (students that are familiar with computers and other advanced technologies at an early age) (Scott, 2015). There arises the need to update teachers on the current trends and technologies available that may revolutionize the way education is delivered in the classroom. Twenty-first century teaching also demands information about up-to-date applications that are useful for teachers and may simplify their tasks.
Southeast Asia Institute of Educational Training, Inc. (SEAIETI) is committed to be a responsive teacher training center to support this cause. SEAIETI continuously develops programs that aim to upgrade teachers’ competencies to respond effectively and innovatively to the needs and demands of the current students (the 21st-century learners) and the ‘New Normal.’ SEAIETI also recognizes and aims to support the Professional Development (PD) priorities of upskilling and reskilling our teachers and school leaders that will result in better learning outcomes through the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP). Likewise, it supports Sulong EduKalidad, which envisions moving together forward to prepare the education system for the future (Department of Education, 2020b).
Since the world is in ‘New Normal,’ SEAIETI has embarked on an online modality in the delivery of its training programs using advanced technological tools. It aims to bring to teachers a learning experience that includes different educational applications and software that will help them emerge in the endless possibilities of various technologies with new ideas to integrate into the classroom.
Starting March 1, 2021, the Southeast Asian Institute of Educational Training, Inc. will start offering the following courses: Education in the Virtual Environment (Dr. Celina Sarmiento), Safeguarding Education (Colleen Curran, MSc), Innovation in Education (Engr. Timothy Wooi), Classroom Management (Editha Soliman) and Demofest (Dr. Erico M. Habijan).
Beteille, T. (2020). Supporting teachers during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. World Bank Group. https://blogs.worldbank.org/education/supporting-teachers-during-covid-19-coronavirus-pandemic
Boston College: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center (2020). TIMSS 2019 International Results in Mathematics and Science. Retrieved from: https://timss2019.org/reports/
Department of Education (2020a). Learning while staying at home: Teachers, parents supports DepEd distance learning platform. https://www.deped.gov.ph/2020/03/21/learning-while-staying-at-home-teachers-parents-support-deped-distance-learning-platform/
Department of Education. (2020b). Unity statement of the Department of Education. https://www.deped.gov.ph/2020/05/01/unity-statement-of-the-department-of-education-deped/
Department of Education. (2018). RPMS-PPST: Helping teachers improve delivery of quality basic education. https://www.deped.gov.ph/2018/10/03/rpms-ppst-helping-teachers-improve-delivery-of-quality-basic-education/
Department of Education. (2017). DO 42, S.2017 – National adoption and implementation of the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers. https://www.deped.gov.ph/2017/08/11/do-42-s-2017-national-adoption-and-implementation-of-the-philippine-professional-standards-for-teachers/
Gain,M.G.F. & Ancho,I.V. (2019). Analyzing School Budget and National Achievement Test (NAT). Jurnal Penjaminan Mutu. 5(1), pp. 83 – 96. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339716001_Analyzing_School_Budget_And_National_Achievement_Test_NAT
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (2019). Program for International Student Assessment 2018: Snapshot of Student Performance. Retrieved from: https://www.oecd.org/pisa/PISA-results_ENGLISH.png
Reimers, F.M. & Schleicher, A. (2020). A framework to guide an education response to the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). https://globaled.gse.harvard.edu/files/geii/files/framework_guide_v2.pdf
Scott, C.L. (2015). The futures of learning 1: Why must learning content and methods change in the 21st century? UNESCO Education Research and Foresight. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000234807