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Monday, May 31, 2021

CHED and REX Education recognize model HEIs’ flexible learning and innovations through Gawad Edukampyon Awards 2021

In a time of great difficulty and challenges not just for the education sector but for the whole country, many schools and educators rose to the task to continue providing holistic and enriching learning for students throughout the country. It’s time for these heroic efforts to take the spotlight and be acknowledged.

The Gawad Edukampyon Awards 2021 was created for this very purpose: to celebrate innovations and excellence by higher education institutions (HEIs) during the most challenging time in recent history, and bring together educators and institutions to create, refine, and implement innovative programs suited to create better and sustainable learning in the 21st century’s new normal of education. 

Launched in January 30, 2021 by Rex Education and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the Gawad Edukampyon Awards 2021 is driven by CHED’s #WeLearnAsOne Bayanihan efforts and Rex Education’s Edukampyon advocacy. 

“I encourage all HEIs to join the Gawad Edukampyon and showcase your innovations. It is during these challenging times that we must empower and inspire each other, draw strength and learn from one another,” said CHED Chairperson Prospero “Popoy” De Vera.

Flexible learning is here to stay

Rex Education has always rallied behind the Edukampyon advocacy, which calls for the involvement of the whole community and all education duty-bearers to ensure all students are Filipino Whole Learners—healthy, safe, engaged, supported, challenged, and values-oriented inside and outside their learning environments. This has become especially important and relevant given the context and changes in education in the new normal, where flexible learning has become a more viable modality for the years to come.

“[There is] no going back to the traditional, full-packed, face-to-face classrooms. The Commission has adopted a policy that flexible learning will continue in the school year 2021 and thereafter,” said De Vera. This statement comes after the release of CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 04, series 2020, “Guidelines on the Implementation of Flexible Learning,” which also presents flexible learning as a sustainable system that should be part of every school’s Learning Continuity Plan (LCP). 

Given the new investments of many HEIs in technology, teacher training, and retrofitting of facilities to adapt with flexible learning, and with this modality already long-adapted by many universities across the globe, it only makes sense for institutions to embrace the new landscape that flexible learning brings. This adaptability and learner-centered approach to education has always been at the core of Edukampyon, which—through the many studies and real-world applications it draws from—argues that learning should not just be delivered from the classroom curriculum, but from the whole community and through every possible learning moment. 

“The Edukampyon agenda lobbies that as members of the community, everyone is part of this learner-centered solution, and are thus duty bearers morally obliged to support initiatives that will benefit our learners. We acknowledge that the efforts to realize the vision of Edukampyon is continuously growing. We may be at the very first steps of this years-long movement. But taking the first step is always the most crucial moment in every revolution. With the help of every HEI and of everyone, we hope that this first step leads to a march where we create more programs and campaigns that would allow us to be champions for the Whole Filipino Learner. And we hope Gawad Edukampyon Awards 2021 will lead that way,” said Don Timothy Buhain, CEO of Rex Education.

Award categories and prizes

There are four categories under the Gawad Edukampyon Awards. Each category will be awarded to the school who has implemented a project or initiative that best exemplifies excellence in the particular field and has been demonstrated during the pandemic. 

The Gawad Edukampyon for Excellence in Flexible and Responsive Management is an award to be given to HEIs who created policies or specific projects and practices that ensured the continuity of education, as well as the health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, staff and school-community during times of disruption. This includes efforts that set a clear framework and system for the transition and integration of flexible learning approaches, excellent and strategic leadership and management, and innovative management approaches that provided tangible support to the staff and students’ well-being especially during pandemic.

The Gawad Edukampyon for Excellence in Flexible Teaching and Learning Innovation is an award to be given to HEIs with exemplary innovative and adaptive learning approaches and solutions, including innovative platforms, tools, pedagogies, and appropriate learning assessments; efforts to promote learner-centered teaching; technology-enhanced or arts-based learning; setting up mobile open online courses (MOOCs); or creating significant reforms in the curriculum to accommodate the changes in the delivery of learning.

The Gawad Edukampyon for Responsive Research and Development is an award to be given to HEIs with outstanding research and development of products that significantly contributed to the community through research and materials dissemination to other LGUs or other HEIs, as well 
as researches that have been used as an input to public policy or adopted into a local community project, and case assessments or action-research that can improve the government’s COVID-19 response. 

The Gawad Edukampyon for Public Service and Community Engagement is an award given to HEIs with outstanding outreach projects that alleviated challenges experienced by their community because of COVID-19. This includes those that have increased community resilience or improved response to the pandemic and communication campaigns that have engaged the community or resulted to transformative decision-making.

Two winners will be awarded for each category—one from the public sector and another from the private sector. Each award category winner will receive a cash prize and an educational resources package worth P200,000. The narratives of all winners will be featured in the Rex Education-led publication, Padayon.

How to join

All HEIs who wish to participate in the Gawad Edukampyon Awards can now submit their letter of intent (LOI) signed by the HEI head or authorized representative to with the subject heading “The Screening Committee, Gawad Edukampyon 2021”. The deadline of submission of LOI is on June 4, 2021.

For the full mechanics on how to join, and to access the forms, application information, and other updates, you may visit Gawad Edukampyon on Facebook, head to the link, or contact the Gawad Edukampyon secretariat at or 0956-812-3896.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Dreaming of Visiting St. Albert

Below is an old photo of the clock tower in downtown St. Albert in Alberta, Canada. I love looking at clock towers that my friend who lives there, sent me this. Well, it will be nicer if I can take a photo myself and see it for myself.  But with this pandemic, traveling is surely not a possibility at the moment. I can only dream of going into trips and enjoy traveling just like in the good old days. 

But as they say, even with the STAY AT HOME protocols. we can still see the world through many other sources, for as long as we make good use of these sources. Books, the Internet, Television, and many others. I prefer updated information that is easy reach so I prefer looking into the internet. 

Where is St. Albert?

So to see this clock tower, we go to St. Albert, which is a city in the province of Alberta, one of the territories of Canada. It is on the Sturgeon River, which is northwest of the city of Edmonton. Ha! Thanks to Wikipedia for this information on St. Albert, Alberta

Found this map too.

When you are in St. Albert, of course, it's not only the clock tower downtown that you will see. Now this is becoming exciting as I go to different pages and sources online, just like travelling. 

Where Should You Visit in St. Albert?

There are a lot of sights and sites to go when in St. Albert. I have a few here that I want to see for myself, apart from the downtown clock tower that I already mentioned above. 

Among others, we have this Youth Mural in Downtown St. Albert, as seen on the wall of St Albert Place, where community events happen, and community activities take place. It houses the public library and the heritage museum, the Musee Heritage Museum, which houses permanent and temporary exhibits. It has an art gallery and a visual art studio too. And of course, the Arden Theatre which hosts the annual Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Festival, which is the largest dance festival in North America. It is also a good place to sit and admire nature, as you can actually see the Sturgeon River at the back. One has to be there to actually see and admire its beauty. 

St Albert Place was built in 1984 and was designed a a place where people could go, and enjoy, hence it was coined as the "people place".  It was designed by Douglas Cardinal, a world-renowned Canadian, whose flowing architecture is marked with smooth curvilinear forms, which is influenced by his aboriginal heritage as well as European Expressionist architecture.

Another place to visit is the historic Alberta Wheat Pool, which was the first of Canada's wheat farmers' cooperatives dating back 1923.  Alberta Wheat Pool, an Alberta Grain Co. and Elevator by the rail line in were both saved from demolition and are now Provincial Historic Sites of Alberta. To date, now known as the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park. I would love to see this park.

They are just a few of the places I have found. But evidently, St Albert is a very good place to live because it has an active and skilled labor force with a very low underemployment rate. Now, if you want to live in St Albert, then I think it's time that you look into the different  St Albert real estate and choose which house to buy. To me, that is another move, and maybe a good decision if you have fallen in love with St. Albert.


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Friday, May 07, 2021

Going out for the first time after quarantine

It was a very exciting day, when I first went out after more than 14 days quarantine... 

But the 3rd time I went out scared me.. A lot of people do not use the face mask and face shield properly, taking precautionary measures as a joke..

Staying at home is still the very safe thing to do to keep ourselves safe...

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