December 1, 2021 – A Filipino public teacher and two school principals were recognized for their outstanding innovations in their respective schools in the first Southeast Asian Educational Innovation Awards (SEA EIA) organized by SEAMEO INNOTECH.

Out of 300 classroom and school innovations submitted from six countries in Southeast Asia, three Filipino educators were recognized in the inaugural award-giving body.

“Innovation has always been the driving force in the education sector, especially in these trying times. May our remarkable educators continue to develop ways to help in the delivery of quality education and to prepare our learners in their foray to a brave, new world,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.

For the Teacher Category, Ms. Joana B. Romero, a Master Teacher I from Melencio M. Castelo Elementary School in Payatas, Quezon City, developed a Digital App for Mathematics and the Reading Video Lessons. The offline, game-based digital application and video materials helped Kindergarten students in Mathematics and Reading.

“Always make a difference in the life of our students no matter what situations and circumstances we have right now, our impact on them last a lifetime,” Ms. Romero shared.

For the School Head Category, Ms. Mary Hazel Ballena, a Principal from Bucay North Elementary School in Abra, led an initiative thru a partnership with various stakeholders. Their school was able to provide handheld two-way radios for their students to deliver lessons, conduct learner assessments, parent orientations, and meetings.

“The project also strengthened the bond between the teachers, learners, and their parents because they can communicate freely. I hope we could continue to use these two-way radios for our future activities, even beyond the pandemic,” Principal Ballena said.

Another School Head Category winner is Mr. Rowan L. Celestra, a Principal from Buenavista Elementary School Sorsogon City, who developed E-NAY.COM (Education for Nanay in the Community) to capacitate mothers in the community and at the same time establish a learning center in every “purok” (zones within the community) that will serve as a library, drop-off point of activity modules and sheets, and classroom. Through the community learning centers and with the assistance of Mother Teacher Volunteers, learners were able to continue learning engagingly.

“Maraming paraan para maitaguyod ang edukasyon sa panahon na tulad nito, Tayo ang manguna at buong lakas nating ipakita na sila man ay maaring makatulong at maging gabay sa bawat bahay para sa edukasyon ng kanilang mga anak,” Principal Celestra noted.

The awardees will receive a trophy of recognition and a travel dissemination grant up to 3,000 USD each. They will also be invited to present in an INNOTECH-organized educational forum and be featured in the first publication of the Southeast Asian Educational Innovation digest.