In June 2020, Echelon Development School in Altavas, Aklan, was on the brink of closure due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Parents who had lost their jobs pulled out their children, said Principal Olivia Sabacan-Payba. “We could not afford to offer online classes, and we weren’t prepared for modular learning with only four teachers left,” she said.
A week before they were to announce the closure, school officials heard about a virtual event staged by Smart Communications, Inc., and endorsed by the Department of Education (DepEd). It was a three-day web forum on an innovative teaching strategy, the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP), developed by the Central Visayas Institute and Foundation (CVIF).
Because of that, the school was able to continue operations, despite limited manpower.
Not only that. The principal noted remarkable output from their students.
“It helped us press on even in the direst of circumstances,” Payba says emotionally. “We are amazed at how our teachers have set higher standards for themselves, and how our students continue to rise up to the challenges and perform well.”
CVIF-DLP trains students to learn independently, to improve their performance, especially in Science, Innovative Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). It was first 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 PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) of parent company PLDT Inc., Smart has helped roll out CVIF-DLP workshops for over a decade.
“We’ve supported the CVIF-Dynamic Learning Program 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,” said Stephanie Orlino, AVP for Community Partnerships, Smart Communications.
“We are now facing a big shift on how learning can be done,” the Bernido couple says. “We believe that crisis-resilient learning would work if we can gather communities, the government, and private sectors to support every Filipino child’s education.”
For school year 2020 to 2021, more than 100 formal and non-formal schools nationwide have implemented CVIF-DLP. It has been proven to work in all primary and secondary academic levels, as well as in the Alternative Learning System (ALS), and targets the entire spectrum of learners, including Special Education students.