As schools prepare to end the current academic year soon, teachers look back at the innovative strategies that helped them stay smart amid the new normal of education.
With virtual classes as one of the top learning modalities implemented nationwide, JB Razec of Carrasacal National High School in Surigao Del Sur said learning the basics of cybersecurity became essential for teachers like him. “All of us are vulnerable to cyber threats, so it is necessary to be suspicious and smart to protect ourselves online,” he said.
Razec learned various ways to stay safe amid increased virtual presence due to online classes when he participated in CyberSmart: Cyber Security Beyond Digital. An internet consumer awareness program of PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications Inc., the initiative aims to educate teachers and students on cybersecurity topics such as data privacy and security, internet safety and online child safety, and responsible social media use.
Backed by the Department of Education, National Privacy Commission, and UNICEF Philippines, CyberSmart’s online caravans in 2020 gathered more than 28,000 teachers and students from over 1,300 schools nationwide. “The activity gave me plenty of reasons to be more vigilant in my virtual world and I’m thankful to have been part of it, Razec said.
Weekly CyberSmart events ran for the whole month of September 2020, which is recognized as the National Cyber Security and Awareness Month. “As technology advances, teachers also need to stay updated on the latest developments online,” said Stephanie Orlinoa assistant vice president for community partnerships at Smart. “The more they know, the more they are equipped to safeguard themselves and their students from online hazards,” she said.
Apart from CyberSmart, Smart also ramped up trainings for the Central Visayan Institute Foundation-Dynamic Learning Program for school year 2020-2021. The crisis-resilient education strategy promotes independent student learning to improve learners’ academic performance, especially in Science, Innovative Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
CVIF-DLP alum turned implementer Samuel Chueh of Davao Christian High School said the method has greatly helped teachers like him, more so amid the challenges brought about by distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. “DLP instills key values and attitudes that are important to success, such as being willing to learn, having perseverance to overcome challenges, and being able to act independently,” Chueh said.
“Training students on independent leaning is one of the most precious lifelong gifts you can give to them,” he said. CVIF-DLP was established in 2002 at the CVIF in Jagna, Bohol by world-renowned theoretical physicists and Ramon Magsaysay awardees for education, Dr. Christopher Bernido and Dr. Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido.
In partnership with social outreach arm PLDT-Smart Foundation, Smart has worked with the Bernidos in rolling out CVIF-DLP workshops across the country for over a decade. The biggest was the ‘No Learner Left Behind’ web forum, which generated almost 500,000 views and led to the implementation of CVIF-DLP in 16 formal and non-formal DepEd divisions nationwide.
In October 2020, Smart also announced the availability of over 2,000 free-to-download CVIF-DLP Learning Activity Sheets at www.commons.deped.gov.ph, a DepEd portal accessible by Smart, Sun, and TNT subscribers even without data load. A key CVIF-DLP component critical to achieve activity-based and multi-domain learning, these ready-to-use Junior and Senior High School resources developed by CVIF is one of only three supplemental learning materials being endorsed by the government agency.
“We’ve supported the CVIF-Dynamic Learning Program for over 10 years now because it provides concrete, tried-and-tested solutions to the problems faced by the education sector, to help attain our #LearnSmart goal that no learner will get left behind,” Orlino said.
Education is among the key pillars of Smart’s Live Smart for a Better World campaign. Under the movement, the company aims to inspire Filipinos to commit to sustainable actions with lasting, positive impact to society. CyberSmart and CVIF-DLP are just two of the many corporate social responsibility programs of Smart that bagged back-to-back major wins from the Philippines’ top award-giving bodies during the first quarter of this year.
Aside from bagging Company of the Year at the 56th Anvil Awards in February, PLDT and Smart also received the prestigious Platinum Anvil for CyberSmart Caravans. The Platinum Anvil Award is given by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) to the most outstanding public relations tool that stands out among all Gold Award winning PR tools.
Considered as the “Oscars” of public relations in the country, the Anvil Awards are presented annually by the PRSP to outstanding PR programs, tools, and practitioners as discerned by a multi-sectoral board of jurors. This year’s theme “PR for Good” aimed to recognize purpose-driven and impactful initiatives that promote corporate integrity and the social good during crises and across platforms.
Last March, PLDT and Smart topped the 18th Quill Awards, bagging 59 group-wide wins, including the Company of the Year and 1st runner-up titles, respectively, apart from the Top Division Award for CVIF-DLP under the Communication Management division.
Organized by the Philippine chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, the Philippine Quill Awards honored programs and campaigns which exemplified the Quills’ global standards of excellent, effective, and purposeful business communication. Judges scored entries using IABC’s Global Seven-point Scale of Excellence for strategic planning and execution.
“We at PLDT and Smart accept these awards with a most profound sense of gratitude, after having survived and thrived for a year under the most extraordinary circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” PLDT and Smart first vice president and group head of corporate communications Cathy Yap-Yang said.
“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the lifeline that kept communities functioning was communications. This is exactly why our award-winning CSR initiatives leverage on PLDT and Smart’s integrated technology, digital innovations, and the fastest network in the Philippines,” Yang said.
PLDT and Smart recognize quality education as a foundation in improving people’s lives and obtaining sustainable development. In support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly SDG #4: Quality Education, education continues to be a flagship CSR program throughout PLDT Group, with a strong emphasis on digital literacy.
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