5 Things We Learned from HyFlex Learning: Owning Filipino Education

Learn from this roundtable discussion on how Filipino educators can bring their teaching methods to the new normal of hybrid education.

Last 29 November 2021, Globe, in partnership with The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations, Inc. (COCOPEA) and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) hosted HyFlex Learning: Owning Filipino Education, a roundtable discussion on how Filipino educators can bring their teaching methods to the new normal of hybrid education.

The event opened with presentations from Globe, the Department of Education, the British School Manila, and The Raya School. It followed with a panel discussion where the audience was given an opportunity to express their main concerns with regard to returning to school. A majority of the responses highlighted their concern for the safety and wellness of students, not just concerning COVID-19 but also with mental health. 

The panelists and speakers also shared their stories and experiences on adapting their once traditional methods to allow for a more flexible, new normal way of learning and teaching without sacrificing the most essential element– the learning needs of their students and communities.

More than one of the speakers highlighted that the pandemic shapes how teachers are teaching and how students are learning. Here are a few key takeaways on what was a most insightful discussion:

  1. Teachers and students at the forefront. All of the programs highlighted an important aspect of their plans: the prioritization of not only the students but also the teachers and school staff. Martin van der Linde, Head of School of the British School Manila, talked about their feedback sessions for teachers, students, and staff, and noted that these were key features of their preparations to understand the contexts and needs of their community fully.
  1. Pivot. A term taken from Dr. Ani Rosa Almario, School Director and Co-Founder of The Raya School, emphasized the need to change and adapt to the current situation without losing the root philosophy of institutions. 
  1. Communication. Closely related to the first point, the speakers, panelists, and audiences all expressed a need for clear and open communication. For the programs to work, stakeholders have to be properly informed of what school in the new normal will look, smell, sound, and feel like.
  1. Sensitization. Taking a queue from Martin van der Linde’s presentation, one of the British School Manila’s pillar features was the sensitization of the community, which takes communication a step further. This involves bringing in key people to test and experience health protocols and new classroom setups, like students and teachers.
  1. Data-driven decisions. Lastly, more than one panelist noted that the opportunities for hybrid schooling seem endless. There are many existing models available to institutions. Still, choosing which model to take on will ultimately depend on data from multiple sources, like government, teachers, parents, school administrators, and other stakeholders. For example, the HyFlex (hybrid flexible) methodology considers the needs of both students and stakeholders, providing them with synchronous, asynchronous, and physical options should it be what most benefits them.

“Every aspect is challenging,” said Dr. Almario, “from making sure that the doorknobs are properly disinfected to being scared that somebody would fall sick after school days… What’s challenging and personally enjoyable to me as a curriculum person is to think about different models and different options.”

It’s a promising time for the education sector, with many opportunities for growth and innovation just waiting to be fully explored. Even if we are experiencing unprecedented and unexpected changes to our way of life, there are always paths we can continue to take so we can do the work of educating our young learners.

Watch the full roundtable discussion here.

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