Monday, October 12, 2009

Local Partners Open New eSkwela Centers

At the eSkwela center in Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay, learning facilitators teach eSkwela learners how to use the e-learning modules and module guides.

Local partnerships paved the way for the establishment of 13 more eSkwela centers in the country.

Through the initiative of different implementers, such as Department of Education (DepEd) divisions, local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), schools, and civic groups, 21 eSkwela centers are up and running as of September 2009.

eSkwela centers accommodate out-of-school youth and adults (OSYAs), enabling them to attend information and communication technology (ICT)-based learning sessions. With the help of learning facilitators, OSYAs undergo learning sessions, which make use of digitized modules and a learning management system.

Through these learning sessions, OSYAs can acquire relevant life skills, prepare for the Accreditation and Equivalency Exam (A and E Exam), and finish their high school education, among others. Those who pass the A and E Exam, which is administered by DepEd, receive a high school diploma.

New centers established

In Luzon, the new eSkwela centers are located in Baguio City; San Fernando City, La Union; Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; Boac, Marinduque; and San Fernando, Camarines Sur.

eSkwela Baguio City is spearheaded by the Save our Street Children Foundation, a non-government organization, while eSkwela San Fernando City is led by the San Fernando Christian Community.

The eSkwela centers in Boac, Marinduque; Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; and San Fernando, Camrines Sur are led by their local DepEd divisions and LGUs. eSkwela San Fernando, Camarines Sur is the first mobile laboratory in the country. (See the story Bringing Alternative Learning Closer to OSYAs).

In the Visayas, the new eSkwela center, which is led by the local DepEd division and LGU, is located in Tanauan, Leyte.

Seven eSkwela centers were set up in Mindanao. These are in the cities of Davao, Digos, Pagadian, and Oroquieta and in the municipalities of Asuncion, Davao del Norte; Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; and Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay. These centers were established through the support of local DepEd divisions and LGUs.

Other stakeholders also include Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao, which is an active partner of eSkwela in Davao City, Digos City, Asuncion, and Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. In Oroquieta City, the eSkwela center was sponsored by the local DepEd division, the Misamis Occidental National High School and the Parents, Teachers and Community Association.

The four eSkwela pilot sites are located in Roces, Quezon City; San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Cebu City, and Cagayan de Oro City. These were followed by eSkwela centers in Ormoc City, Zamboanga City, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, and Kalumpang, Marikina City.

Need for local support

The Commission on Information and Communications Technology, through the Human Capital Development Group, works closely with the Department of Education, particularly the Bureau of Alternative Learning Systems, in bringing ICT-enhanced educational opportunities for Filipino OSYAs.

The establishment of new eSkwela centers would not be possible without the initiative and support of local partners and stakeholders though. Through these partnerships, additional eSkwela centers are established and more OSYAs in the country are provided with free alternative learning opportunities.

Related Stories:
First batch of eSkwela scholars in Tanauan ready to take DepEd's October 11 A&E test

Davao City DepEd launches eSkwela pilot center in Region XI
New computer sets given to Tanauan’s CeC

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