The Department of Information and Communications Technology’s collaborative project with the University of the Philippines Open University dubbed Enabling Teachers on Remote Teaching and Learning in the time of Pandemic was named one of 90 Champions for World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes 2021.

This is out of 582 competing entries worldwide under Capacity Building category. It is also the only Philippine entry that made it as champion.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, the education sector had been drastically affected, and most schools and universities had to adapt online or blended learning systems to be able to continue with the school term. Despite these challenges, however, your DICT remains committed to assist in education delivery to securing our children’s future,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

We are proud of this opportunity to be recognized in the international community for our digital solution. We commit to support the education sector in facilitating the achievement of human, social, and national development. We shall likewise continue to explore more channels to deliver ICT-based educational solutions to our schools and universities as we pursue inclusive development,” Secretary Honasan added.

Responding to the necessary transition to digital services of many sectors including education, DICT and UPOU partnered to launch a 9-session Webinar on Remote Teaching and Learning. The training program equipped 84,632 teachers (56,242 or 66% of whom were women) with various techniques for remote teaching. The series came at no cost to the government, the teacher and participants as it was conducted online through synchronous webinar sessions. All sessions are still available online via DICT Mindanao Cluster 1’s Facebook Page.

“The pandemic has disrupted education affecting millions of learners all over the world. Schools were forced to embrace remote learning to ensure that knowledge-sharing continues amidst the global fight against the COVID-19. Our cluster, DICT MC1, launched this project with the UP Open University to help the academe thrive in the new normal by maximizing ICT,” shared Director Maria Teresa Camba, Regional Director of DICT MC1.

As DICT’s official partner for this endeavor, UPOU prepared the session plan and provided the experts and resource persons for the online seminar sessions free of charge. UPOU is the prime institution for providing online teaching and learning in the country. It has pioneered digital education and continues to play a leading role in the study and practice of open learning and distance education in the Philippines.

“Working with DICT MC1 on this initiative was really a good opportunity for UPOU to broaden or widen the reach of our capability building programs. This global recognition is an affirmation of the value and the impact of what we did.  It inspires us to do more of this kind,” saidUPOU Chancellor Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria.

Over 1,270 projects from around the world were submitted for the 2021 run of the competition. 360 of these projects were nominated for the voting phase of the contest, including 3 other projects of DICT Mindanao Cluster 1 under Infrastructure, Cyber Security, and e-Government categories. Last year, DICT MC1’s Digital Hub was also recognized as Champion for WSIS Prizes 2020.

International Telecommunications Union’s WSIS Prizes is a global contest hosted to create a platform to honor projects and activities that harness ICTs to advance sustainable development. 18 winners from the list of champions will be announced during the Awarding Ceremony scheduled on May 17-21, 2021.

To check out other champion projects for the year, go to wsis.org/prizes.