Friday, March 28, 2008

The eSkwela Project

I am now involved in a project that uses ICT in education in the alternative education setting. It is called eSkwela. It is a project of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) and the Department of Education (DepEd).

eSkwela prides to have produced several digitized e-learning modules for the use of out-of-school youth and adults (OSYA) in the Alternative Learning Systems (ALS). I think ICT is a great way to bring education to the OSYAs because it allows for flexibility in studying and learning among OSYAs. The flexible entry and exit component in the ALS program is one of its unique features that differentiates the delivery of education in the formal setting.

What I also liked about this project is the advocacy on the use of open source software, such as Edubuntu. Edubuntu is an example of open source software that was made by educators and technologists to suit the need of schools. The software contains very nice educational applications that can be used to teach lessons in a more interesting and fun manner. Having the computers, Edubuntu software and digitized modules truly helps improve the learning of the OSYAs that are enrolled in the eSkwela program.

The eSkwela has been recognized by the UNESCO through its ICT in Education Innovation Awards. It has received a Certificate of Commendation for the Non-formal Education category.

It makes me proud to be part of this very noble endeavor. What I like most about this project is that it has given attention to the alternative education sector, which hardly receives much attention from local officials and the private sector. Even the DepEd provides a very minimal budget for ALS while it caters to about 20% of the population that are out-of-school. I hope that as we go along with the project we would be able to further enhance the delivery of education, especially to the OSYAs.