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A teacher opens the door to a classroom at Taguig City University (TCU) and finds a space to conduct new normal classes with state-of-the-art information and communication technologies.

An initial 10 classrooms at TCU transformed into โ€œteaching hubsโ€ on Nov. 25 through the Sharpened Online Learning program, the universityโ€™s comprehensive response to ensure quality tertiary education in the time of COVID-19.

The local government of Taguig City through the City Education Office improved classrooms to meet teachersโ€™ needs using resources available onsite – adapting their materials, technologies, and styles for efficient and effective teaching that fit into the demands of COVID-19 and the new future in education.

Each teaching hub is equipped with studio equipment as well as a technical team to assist faculty members conducting live online classes. As a side note, the facility may be used to prepare videos for synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Teachers are also provided cozy lounges and coffee bars to give them an extra energy boost.

โ€œUltimately, we want our students at TCU and in the whole public school system to learn, even when the setup is different.

Understanding that the adjustment can be difficult, we have made sure to introduce measures that would ease the burden on both educator and learner,โ€ said Mayor Lino Cayetano.

Taguig City helped students bridge the digital divide by providing for some of their most pressing needs in the new normal distance learning setting. TCU students received around 8,700 computer tablets.

This help would provide opportunities for growth outside the academic setting. The students may use the devices to conduct research, do self-paced virtual learning or even seek part-time employment. In addition to the devices, City Hall also released allowances amounting to P5,000-10,000 to TCU students.

The city also distributed almost 300 computer tablets to all the full-time and part-time faculty members of the city-owned university so that educators wouldnโ€™t feel left out in the digital leap. These efforts are still part of the Sharpened Online Learning program.

The TCU faculty will link up the teaching hubs to an online framework specially designed by respective colleges to deliver quality education. Teachers will conduct virtual classes through the Taguig Online Resources & Community Hub learning management system (TORCH- LMS), closely related to the system used by education authorities in Ontario and Calgary in Canada, and Ohio, Georgia, West Virginia, Alabama and New York in the United States.

Preempting a migration to the virtual platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the local government prepared the TCU faculty and nonteaching staff by getting them through online courses with Skillsoft, an international online education program provider. This service was provided through the Training and Enrichment Courses from Taguig Online Campus or TECTOC. Faculty members also underwent training for online learning using LMS with Computer Assisted Learning Philippines.

The City of Taguig’s academic-centric programs and initiatives is proof that the local government holds high regard for education. One of the educational reforms that is core to Taguig’s mandate is the LANI Scholarship Program, this was established by then Mayor now Congresswoman Lani Cayetano wherein financial assistance is provided to thousands of deserving college students. In the year 2019, the budget for this scholarship increased exponentially to P675 million with over 57,318 scholars during that time.

Former Mayor and now Taguig 2nd Dist. Rep. Lani Cayetano also made strides the last few years making TCU 100 percent tuition-free, and made it possible for a 5 thousand per semester allowance for all students and has distinguished topnotchers for Education and Criminology.

โ€œWe have always prided ourselves for being one step ahead in our preparations for the COVID-19 pandemic, and the education system is no exception,โ€ said Mayor Lino.

โ€œFrom hardware to software, we covered all the bases. We know very well that learning has to continue whatever the circumstances may be. Our commitment to a better, inclusive and forward-thinking education system continues, even amid a pandemic,โ€ he added.

News Source: https://youtu.be/UR5tropbdkg

 

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