Martes, Oktubre 9, 2012

Philippines: A Country Rising

F. Sionil Jose in his Philippine Star column wrote once that the Philippines is not poor, what with all the million-peso mansions built along provincial roads from all over the archipelago. The 2012 State of the Nation Address of Pinoy gives much hope too.

44th largest economy today according to HSBC
Sharing with you some statistics about the Philippines in the first decade of the 22nd Century:

The Philippines is the 44th-largest economy in the world today, according to HSBC estimates. But if current trends hold, it can leap to the No. 16 spot by 2050. The Philippine stock market, one of the best performers in the region, closed at a record high after the recent S.& P. rating upgrade, and the country’s currency, the peso, reached a four-year high against the dollar at about the same time. Source: NYTimes
Better than a few years ago according to Religare
According to Religare Capital Markets Ltd., an investment company specializing in the Asean market remarks that the Philippines' opportunities are timely now that more popular investment hubs are beginning to offer smaller yields,

“The Philippines is a market where people want to put money into,” Religare’s global head of equity capital markets John Sturmey said in an interview with the Inquirer. “The story here is certainly better than how it was a few years ago. Everyone is saying good things about the Philippines.”
“Hong Kong and China are offering less opportunities,” he said. “They’re ‘over-banked’ since there are a lot more financial institutions chasing after fewer and fewer deals.” This has made it less attractive for firms like Religare, which would have to contend with thinning profit margins. Source: PDI

Stable progress
All these positive ratings for the Philippines are welcome and should inspire us to strive even more to lay down better foundations for our youth. Also, economic progress should equalize opportunities especially for the underprivileged.

Lunes, Oktubre 8, 2012

A Nation of Readers

Photo from Learning Lion
To build a nation of readers through empowered teachers, this is the advocacy of Learning Lion Publishing House established in 2004 by childhood educators, artists and parents.

Learning Lion provides game-based early reading materials in Filipino and English. Proceeds of the sale of materials support selected public schools in Bukidnon, Makati, Antipolo as well as multi-awarded ALS hero Efren Penaflorida's Kariton Classroom.

To know more about them or to order from them, kindly visit their website:

Huwebes, Agosto 2, 2012

17-year-old girl builds artificial ‘brain’ to detect breast cancer

The world thinks cancer diseases are here to stay - no cure has been found to fight it.

The world thinks that 17-year old girls are innocent, carefree all-about-me people.

The world thinks wrong - or so I thought, as I came across the story via Pinterest of Brittany Wenger. She's from Florida and she won the grand prize in the Google Science Fair for making a computer program that can 99.1% diagnose breast cancer. She beat 30 finalists from all over the world.

Brittany spent 600 hours (or 3 months if compared to the average Philippine office schedule) to code this science project. It uses tissue samples to assess signs of breast cancer. Read more about her winning work here.

Brittany used artificial intelligence programming running on Java language, a growing trend in the software development industry which trains the computer to think like humans - they can detect patterns that are too complex, and gets better with more data used. The program is deployed on the cloud.

As the grand winner, Brittany brings home US$50,000 scholarship money, an internship with an IT company and a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Island in South America.

More about this story:
Huffington Post
Cloud4Cancer Breast Cancer Detection

Lunes, Hulyo 23, 2012

Thailand's One Tablet per Child

No, mom! We're not talking vitamins and supplements here.

Thailand government, led by its Prime Minister is working to provide all of its school children with a 7" touch screen, 512 RAM, 8GB memory with built-in 3G tablet PC. Why, they would like to revolutionize learning starting with the grade school pupils.

First batch of the 55,000 tablets for Thailand's One Tablet Per Child campaign Photo from Bangkok Post
This week, these tablets have been distributed to Grade 1 or Prathom 1 students. Next deliveries will be for the Grade 7 students. These tablets are seen as tools among other educational resources.

Biyernes, Hulyo 20, 2012

Got spare time? Be a Literacy Volunteer!

Who is a DepEd ALS Literacy Volunteer?
Licensed teacher (LET passer)
Resident of the target community
Speaks the local dialect of the target community
Physically fit
With good public relations skills
Willing to be trained

Benefits of a Literacy Volunteer
Monthly stipend of Php 5,000
Transportation allowance of Php 2,000
Allowance for teaching aid materials Php 5,000
Become instrumental in uplifting the lives of others

Interested applicants are encouraged to consult with their DepEd Division Office for a 10-month contract.

DepEd is looking for 719 Alternative Learning System (ALS) literacy volunteers.

Miyerkules, Hulyo 18, 2012

Oscar Pistorius, South Africa's Amputee Olympic Athlete

Oscar Pistorius is enough to make the 2012 London Olympics very memorable and momentous. A double knee amputee, Oscar will compete in the 100m, 200m and 400m relay events. We wish you all the best and we are inspired by your story. More of Oscar through his website here.

Lunes, Hulyo 9, 2012

36 inmates graduate in Dipolog City jail

The bars of prison jail did not prevent these 36 inmates, aged 19 to 40 years old, to get their school diploma.

Through the Accreditation and Equivalency Test of the Department of Education's (DepEd) Bureau of Alternative Learning System (Bals), these inmates graduated in primary and secondary levels in Dipolog City Jail.

26 got their HS and 10 their elementary diplomas Photo courtesy of PIA
Congratulations to you all, especially to the Dipolog City Jail and the mobile teachers.

Biyernes, Hulyo 6, 2012

La Salle Green Hills' PEARL is digital and completely paperless

La Salle Green Hills is the Philippines' pioneer in implementing tablet-based education for its students. Powered by Pressmart's  software named MOCA or Mobile Learning Classroom Application, LSGH chose Samsung tablets to run books, homeworks and quizzes for all its students under the PEARL project. PEARL stands for Personal Learning Device Project. Yes, no more heavy bags to carry daily. Pressmart is and  India-based digital publisher.
Photo courtesy of PV Sivakumar from The Hindu Business Line
How does it work Hosted on a private-cloud, (yes, clouds aren't anymore for rain these days) LSGH's 4,000 Grade 1 to 12 students each use 8.9 inch 470-gram  Android 3.2 Honeycomb powered tablets in school. 
Homework are given wirelessly. They are submitted wirelessly too, so the teachers check using their tablets.

The same tablet-based education is seen to be offered to all of La Salle's 17 chain of schools all throughout the Philippines, with Pressmart and Samsung as partners.

As mentioned to me by a parent, the school issued device cost about Php 20,000+.

I wonder
Are games included in their devices too? Will the device be upgraded regularly? iOS releases almost yearly, and Android follows continuously builds up its OS too. Will a 1st grader's device be useful still four years after it has been issued?

Indeed LSGH has trailblazed its education offering. I hope they will share their lessons and experiences to the whole country, if not the world as regards implementation that we may all benefit.

As a parent, I allow my kids to use PC and tablets. That's their future - touch based and paperless. However, I encourage them to use paper and pencil along with other hand-driven activities and table top works. I would like them to be skillful with their hands, primarily still.

Lunes, Hunyo 25, 2012

Fil-Canadian Mom Chooses Education for Better Future

Photo courtesy of

A mom at 16 and a high school drop out, Charlaine Ang could have settled with her fast-food job and not become a scholar at Capilano University next year.

How did she do it? Through the youth program of Vancouver School Board's South Hill Education Centre and the Tupper Young Parent Services alternative program, that is.

Ang attended the Tupper program-which trains teen moms how to prepare nutritious meals, and provide fitness sessions and childcare-by day. She works at a retail store called Metrotown until 9: 30 p.m. three nights a week while juggling home chores and child rearing duties, the report on says.

Read more about this story at

Biyernes, Hunyo 22, 2012

Miriam College launches tablet PC elearning for HS

Miriam College launched this school year the use of the tablet PC among its first year high school students following extensive research and testing. It is currently the second Philippine academic institution to roll out the use of tablet PC for its elearning initiative after DLSU Greenhill's adoption last year.

In its website, MC announces that administrators, faculty and students are using the ACER Iconia A200.
Acer Iconia A200 Photo courtesy of Computerworld

The tablet PC would run the Genyo E-Learning system of Diwa Learning Systems Inc. (Diwa) and Marshall Cavendish Online of Singapore.

Source: Miriam College

Miyerkules, Mayo 2, 2012

Out of school? Didn't finish school? There's Philippine Educational Placement Test

Paper and pencil | Photo copyright of quacktaculous

Philippine Educational Placement Test or PEPT is a FREE examination given to any Filipino who didn't finish school and would like to go back again. It covers the areas of English, Math, Science and social studies(HEKASI) for elementary and Araling Panlipunan for high school.

PEPT seeks to evaluate an out-of-school child or youth's competency in relation to their age, to enable them to upgrade their academic level for re-entry into formal school, job entry, job promotion and self-fulfillment.

For those looking to re-enter school, the DepEd issues certificates to PEPT examinees which shows the fitting grade/year level of the examinee. Present this to any school you would like to attend along with other registration/enrollment requirements.

For this year, May 25 is the deadline for registration. PEPT examination will be on June 12, 2012 in all divisions nationwide.

The free PEPT is made available in commemoration of the 114th celebration of the Philippine Independence along with the Education for All (EFA) campaign.

PEPT requirements
For those interested, documentary requirements for taking the PEPT include:
  1. Forms 137/138
  2. Birth certificate 
  3. Two (2) pcs. 1 x 1 pictures
Colleges and Universities with online guidelines regarding PEPT examinees:
College of Saint Benilde

Other resource:

Linggo, Abril 29, 2012

Tony Wagner

Who is Tony Wagner
First Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, he is a passionate advocate for teaching 21st Century skills as a way to jump-start the economy and children’s minds.

He lists the new 7 skills students need to succeed in this century. They are:

  1. CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING - analytical, rigorous in testing assumptions
  2. COLLABORATION ACROSS NETWORKS AND LEADING BY INFLUENCE - leadership across the board, leadership by influence not authority 
  3. AGILITY AND ADAPTABILITY - ability to cope with changes, as change is the new business
  4. INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP - creative solutions to tough and challenging problems
  5. EFFECTIVE ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION - ability to communicate both written and oral presentations
  6. ACCESSING AND ANALYZING INFORMATION - with all these information available, people should be prepared to process the information effectively
  7. CURIOSITY AND IMAGINATION - employers like employees who comes up with a clever interpretation, something added personally

Harvard Education

Online School for Public School Teachers in the Philippines: C.A.M.P. (The Computer Access Mentorship Program in the Philippines)

Reading opens a person to a whole new world. And reading is what Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation Inc. (Sasfi) wants for all Filipinos. Sasfi is  a not-for-profit, PCNC accredited, professional Philippine organization that promotes the love and habit of reading in Filipino children. It's a UNESCO-cited organization for its wide reach and backing, include the country's top companies and luminaries.

November 2011, Sasfi together with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and the Department of Education (DepEd), and funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund have launched C.a.m.p., or Computer Access Mentorship Program based on teaching reading best practices by the MIT study.

What is C.A.M.P.
The project aims to roll out 25 computer laboratories nationwide where public school teachers may get online skills training on how to be better reading teachers - read for meaning, read for life.

First 100 registrants also get a prize, after completing the four-module online course. The course may take four to eight hours to finish. At the end of the program, the enrolled teacher will take an assessment exam and when passed, equals the DepEd certificates.

The computer labs are located in BSP camp sites, all equipped with scanners and printer connected to the web. But the online tutorial website is accessible via the Internet using any computer.

C.A.M.P numbers
According to C.A.M.P, some 260 public elementary school teachers have finished the course. Another 292 are still online. The goal is to train 9,000 teachers by April 2013.

Website: - C.A.M.P. Online Teacher's Tutorial -  Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation Inc. - Star Teacher Magazine Online
SAS in Facebook


Martes, Abril 24, 2012

Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Regional Education Forum 2012 Top Winners are from the Philippines, Global Filipino Teachers Indeed

Photo copyright of ABS-CBN News
Filipino teachers are winners - Microsoft Partners in Learning Regional Education Forum

We at AralMuna.Me salute the Filipino teachers who represented the Philippines and brought home the top prizes besting 60 other representatives from Asia Pacific during the 2012 Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Regional Education Forum held last March in Auckland, New Zealand.

They are:
  1. Shateen Seraña of Tuan Datu Hadji Abdulla Niño Memorial High School in Zamboanga
  2. Edalyn Olis of Lala National High School in Lanao del Norte, and 
  3. Estelito Mendoza of Baguio National High School

Mangrove Planting Project
Seraña took home the country award with her “Mangrove Planting, ” a project for her fourth year high school students which allowed her students to learn beyond the classroom, improve their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills and encouragee them to apply their learning to their community.

“I did some research on what the students could do to help the community and I thought mangrove planting could be feasible because it would protect our coastal area from erosion. Since none of the students has ever experienced tree-planting before or used the Internet for school projects, this could be an interesting experiential project for them,” she said.

The students were grouped according to their interests. They came up with proposal letters distributed among local officials, community groups as sponsorship campaigns. Other teams did Facebook Groups as a way to inform every member of the team, while others handled journaling of their project using Multiply. Some students 

She will represent the country this November in Microsoft's Global Forum, where teachers from all over the world present their winning projects among panelists as well as attend ongoing development programs and seminars.

Read a one-on-one interview with her from the blog daily adventures by Anthony Salcito.

Innovation Awardees
Olis won in the Innovation in Challenging Contexts category for her “E-dokyo” project, while Mendoza was a runner-up for his piece called “Learning Beyond the Classroom and Make A Difference.”

Business Mirror
Good News Pilipinas
Manila Bulletin
Microsoft Partners in Learning