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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Education Amidst Pandemic: NTC's Flexible Remote Learning Programs

Health and safety are important, but so is education. 

The National Teacher's College (NTC) announced that it is fully embracing flexible remote learning programs this coming school year, ensuring the right to education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NTC has partnered with experts in remote learning to provide their students the best value in a safe and flexible online learning. This includes MIT-JWEL, which promotes excellence and transformation in education, Mapua University, a leading university in remote learning, Derrick Latreille, a sought-after international learning consultant, and Dr. Edizon Fermin, member of CHED's Technical Working Group on Flexible Learning.

"While we understand that parents and students think that embracing digital classroom setup might entail higher costs for them, we are confident that NTC's efforts will grow to become a new benchmark for accessible, affordable quality education in this difficult time and beyond," said NTC President, Fred Ayala.

The pandemic has greatly affected every one, even education. Students who are looking forward to back to school this year are saddened by the turn of events. On the other hand, parents are apprehensive also about sending their children to school should physically as health and safety is really a concern this time. 

NTC has transitioned nicely to the "new normal" of learning, as it has genuine concerns for students and their families. By shifting to remote learning, NTC has achieved the following:

1. Design and implementation of the Enhanced Student Academic Engagement Arrangement (ESAEA) which allowed learners and teachers to exercise reasonable flexibility and leniency in completing the academic year through low-cost distance learning solutions.

2.  Provision of expert advice to the Commission on Higher Education, private educational associations, and public higher education institutions on the implementation of inclusive flexible learning modalities.

3. Immediate transition of graduate teacher education into an online modality thus allowing the majority of its students who are DepEd teachers and supervisors all over the country to embrace more quickly the rise of remote and flexible learning modalities.

4. Quick assistance to severely affected students, employees, families, and community partners through the Bayanihan sa NTC relief and recovery program that includes distribution of basic needs and online psychosocial support.

5. Enrollment of all students and employees in Konsulta MD for remote health consulation and other medicalservices.

6. Non-implementation of increases in tuition and miscellaneous fees, further reduction of certain miscellaneous fees, and relaxation of payment terms, in recognition of the economic impact of COVID-19 on our students and their families, and consistent with our long-held objective of being one of the lowest cost, high quality academic institutions in NCR.

7. Enhancement of our scholarship and work-study programs, as well as expansion of student loan offerings, through several education financing partners, to further assist our students and their families during this very challenging pandemic.

8. Migration of essential institutional processes into remote and online structures for ease and continuity of transaction with the school.

9. Rapid training of faculty and staff in both wired and non-wired learning solutions that include teaching strategies, open education resources, and assessment processes and in partnership with the MIT's (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), J-WEL (Jameel World Education Lab), and Mapua University.

10. Opening of the Alternative and Lifewide Learning Institute at NTC (ALL-IN), one of the few specialized training centers that focused on capacitating teachers, parents, and school administrators in adaptive, innovative, and resilient education provisions.

11. Continued contact with employment partners for the deployment of graduates in emerging sectors.

It was in March 2020 when NTC decided to immediately digitize all course outlines and core student resources. This was right after the announcement of possible school closures due to community quarantine. 

"NTC made it a top priority to roll out a clear learning continuity plan as quickly as possible. Instantly, FB messenger and SMS became the new platforms for immediate feedback and interaction between and among students, teachers, and parents," explained Fermin.

With its key innovation architects coming from the fields of business, educational technology, learning innovation, and constructivist teaching, its programs and services are rapidly morphing into an enviable ecosystem of flexible learning choices for learners from kindergarten all the way to graduate school, providing its students the Power of Choice.


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