BANGKOK, THAILAND, December 06, 2022 – Three Filipino teachers that recently won the Southeast Asian Educational Innovation Awards (SEA EIA) conferred by SEAMEO INNOTECH, were formally given recognition during the 45th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand last November 29.

The three Filipinos honored in the meeting were Mr. Rowan L. Celestra, Principal of Buenavista Elementary School in Sorsogon City; Ms. Joana B. Romano, Master Teacher I from Melencio M. Castelo Elementary School in Quezon City; and Ms. Mary Hazel Ballena, Principal of Bucay North Elementary School in Abra.

Mr. Celestra spearheaded project E-NAY.COM (Education for Nanay in the Community), which capacitated mothers in the community to be learning facilitators to assist the learning of children at home during the pandemic.

“Ang pagpaparangal na ito ay para sa pagsisikap ng ating Kagawaran ng Edukasyon na ipursigi ang pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon sa gitna ng pandemya. Sana ay magsilbing inspirasyon ito sa mga guro, mga opisyal ng paaralan, at mga partners upang ipagpatuloy ang ating nasimulan para sa ating mga mag-aaral,” Mr. Celestra said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Romano developed an offline game-based digital application coupled with a set of video materials to teach Kindergarten students mathematics and reading in their Mother Tongue and develop positive attitudes towards the subjects.

On the other hand, through a partnership with different stakeholders, Ms. Ballena’s school was able to provide handheld two-way radio for every student which they used to deliver lessons, conduct learner assessments, and conduct parent orientation and meetings (TEACH TALK (Teachers’ Engagement, Action and Commitment in Assisting Learners at Home to Think, Ask, Listen, and Build New Knowledge).

The awardees were chosen from more than 350 classroom and school innovations nominated from six Southeast Asian countries. The innovations introduced by the teachers and school heads stood out among those developed in schools across the region. The winners were chosen after a rigorous three-phased selection and review.

Each winner received a trophy of recognition and a travel grant of up to 3,000 USD each as part of the prize. The winners received the trophy and recognition from Dr. Attaphon Sangkhawassee Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education of Thailand who represented the Minister of Education during the event. SEAMEO INNOTECH Director and former DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones and Dr. Ethel Valenzuela, SEAMEO Secretariat Director, presented the awards.

The awardees also presented their winning innovations in a Knowledge Forum among Thai educators organized by the Teachers Council of Thailand and INNOTECH in Bangkok.