The Patatas – An Education Solutions Consultancy

Online Learning in the Philippines: Ensuring Continuity with “School in a Box”

The Philippines, like many places, has embraced online learning as a way to keep education going despite disruptions. This is especially important with how fast technology is developing and the growing need for digital skills. Online learning platforms proved their worth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’re being used again now to ensure students keep learning even with the recent heatwave forcing schools to close.

Currently, the Philippines is experiencing an average of 45 degrees celsius body heat index— this is already classified as “Dangerous” for the health. According to Morales (via interaksyon.philstar.com), the Philippines is also facing a power shortage right now, especially on Luzon, the main island that drives most of the country’s economy. This is because of the scorching temperatures and the recent shutdown of 13 power plants have strained their electricity reserves, according to the country’s grid operator. 

With all the unpredictability of situations and the inevitable experiences of shift with learning mode, it is true that the switch to online classes can be a viable option as it offers a flexible and accessible way to reach students in remote areas and those experiencing unexpected dilemmas. Along with this, there are still prominent problems such as lack of internet connectivity, devices, and the digital divide itself expose the need for creative solutions to ensure all Filipino students have a fair shot at a quality education.

With the challenges of educational disruption, the “School in a Box” concept emerges as a promising solution. This all-in-one package provides curriculum materials, teacher training, and digital resources, offering a comprehensive approach to ensure consistent education delivery. “School in a Box” presents a transformative vision for Philippine education, with the potential to bridge the existing gap and create a level playing field for all students. This innovative approach leverages technology and fresh methods to ensure equitable access to high-quality education for every Filipino child. No matter their location or socioeconomic background, students can benefit from the comprehensive resources offered by “School in a Box,” including curriculum materials, teacher training, and valuable digital tools.

The Patatas’ “School-in-a-box” Solution: The CaseStudy

 At our core, we’re driven by social impact. We’re an organization that champions innovative education for underserved communities, particularly those facing challenges with electricity or internet access. And it is our goal to ensure that no kids are left behind, that we must make sure that they can still continue their education despite the struggles.

We understand that disruptions happen. Whether it’s an unexpected school closure, sudden switch to online classes, power or signal interruption, or simply wanting to provide extra learning support at home, it’s important that every child’s education stays on track. This is where the CaseStudy solution comes in.

CaseStudy is an extensive learning management system that connects educators and students in communities with zero-infrastructure anywhere. It is affordable and cost effective in the long run— it allows educators and learners to access digital educational resources regardless of internet connection as it functions with portability and accessibility since CaseStudy’s central network can be utilized by up to 20 devices within a radius of 50 meters (assuming there are no walls that is affecting the broadcast distance) where they can access educational resources and students will no longer experience disrupted learning. 

In times of crisis like natural disasters or conflicts, like what’s currently happening in the Philippines where schools are suddenly closed down due to extreme heat, not everyone has access to online learning, therefore, the CaseStudy can help provide essential learning materials; this can be done through a variety of strategies:

  • CaseStudy in a Barangay – as the center of the town, Barangay staff can help operate the CaseStudy by allowing the parents of the students to connect to the Potato Pi, and then proceed with downloading the offline materials— with its 100% offline learning management system, it ensures students can continue their education amidst disruption; as it is preloaded with essential learning aids like Wikipedia, Kolibri, and a collection of educational videos. Then the children can now access the learning materials at home even without signal or internet. 

  • CaseStudy as a Portable Learning Tool — because of the extreme heat and given the fact that not all public schools have an air conditioning unit, or atleast enough ventilation and electric fans, with its portability, CaseStudy can be brought to an area where they can temporarily hold their classes provided that it will ensure of the comfort and safety of the students may it be in a Barangay function room or a barangay basketball court. 

Furthermore, it is not limited to the preloaded materials, teachers and partners have the freedom to integrate their own instructional materials depending on the curriculum and the needs of the students.

 Overall, the CaseStudy serves as a critical resource both for teachers and students especially in emergency situations, remote areas, and the rural communities.

 

Potato Pi from the CaseStudy

Partnership in the Philippines

               The Patatas has been supporting its partner Tiwala Kids and Communities in Legazpi City, Philippines, since 2014. When The Patatas introduced the then working title of the CaseStudy: “Classroom-in-a-box” to the teachers of Tiwala. The teachers already grasped the complex new teaching methods surprisingly fast during the first day’s training. Their enthusiasm to learn and share the knowledge with their communities are really what makes it more hopeful for the future of education. It became a big help to the students especially that it’s technology-based— showing  real interest in learning and the willingness to fully grasp it

                The Philippines definitely has a bright future, but only if all kids can get a quality education. Schools in a box are an effective tool because they provide much-needed resources and classrooms in isolated locations. However, the need remains great. By investing in these groundbreaking educational methods, like the CaseStudy, we’re building a brighter future where every Filipino student, regardless of background or location, has the chance to excel with a top-notch education.

                For kids who might not otherwise have access to technology, you can help by donating your used gadgets! May it be a laptop, cellphone, or tablet — as long as they can still be refurbished and loaded with instructional materials, it would be a valuable instrument for education! We can enable students, no matter what their circumstances, to pursue further education with your support. Get in touch with The Patatas if you would wish to make a donation— The Patatas team is dedicated to offering enough assistance every step of the way and is always excited to start new collaborations with individuals and organizations that share the same vision. Click this link to contact us!

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