The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) engaged in a hybrid meeting with SEAMEO INNOTECH, a training center specializing in education research, to propagate more aspects of research through delving into projects in teaching and learning, University systems, and mainstreaming marginalized schools held last 20 April 2023.

UPOU was represented by Dr. Primo G. Garcia, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Dr. Ricardo T. Bagarinao, Director of the Center for Open and Digital  Teaching and Learning; Dr. Roberto Figueroa, Jr., Deputy Director of the Open and Digital Learning Research – CODTL; and Dr. Myra C. Almodiel, Director of the Office of Public Affairs. On the other hand, SEAMEO INNOTECH had the following representatives, namely: Dr. Sherlyne Almonte-Acosta, Senior Specialist and Head of the Education Research Unit; Dr. Christian Leubert Milambiling, Specialist at Educational Research Unit and Innovations Office; and Ms. Erlene Umali, Senior Associate.

The agenda of both institutions is to engage in collaborative endeavors that would help hone the future of Philippine education andto revisit the previous memorandum of agreement (MOA) t. Regarding this, VCAA Dr. Primo Garcia shared that SEAMEO INNOTECH has been a longstanding partner of the University, specifically in the conduct of conferences that  had helped develop several research projects on the basis of local, regional, national, and international situations.

Discussing further, both parties were able to cite some examples of the research projects that they have spearheaded over the past few years. UPOU, with its current focus on artificial intelligence or AI and its affordances,is open to venture more into the said topics for another breakthrough in the quality of education being delivered by Philippine higher educational institutions (HEIs). Moreover, UPOU is not only focusing on higher education as Dr. Bagarinao shared some efforts in improving the Philippine basic education system through employing the use of Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality (AR/VR) in teaching subjects ranging from several branches of Sciences, Mathematics, English,  Filipino, among others. In connection, Dr. Figueroa also shared their continuous project in maximizing the use of AI in teaching students across the globe through several applications such as Discord and Edify.

Another aspect which should be considered in the institutions’ future collaborations would be the University systems that would lead to the assessment of Teacher Motivation. The determination of Teacher Motivation is an integral part of improving the education system as it determines the needs and aspirations of educators, in both basic and higher educational institutions. This would lead them to have a more fluid engagement in the teaching profession. 

Mainstreaming marginalized schools is another common interest between the two institutions. As an advocacy of the University, this aims to address the needs of marginalized sectors through the provision of high quality education. This transcends through the possible political and societal issues brought about by migration of the learners.

Hence, the said joint efforts between UPOU and SEAMEO INNOTECH aim to make education more accessible to the widest range of learners possible as well as to cater to the needs of educators in providing quality education in the nearest future.

Written by Nikhaela Valenciano

Edited by Margaret Jarmin-Suarez and Yasele Yambao

Contributed by the UPOU OVCAA

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