According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), in 2018, the Philippines placed lowest in reading and second to last in science and mathematics among the 79 participating countries. PISA evaluates 15-year-olds’ performance in Reading, Math, and Science as well as their application of important knowledge and skills. There was a significant socio-economic disparity in the Philippines in 2018, with at least 78 percent of students failing to achieve minimum levels of competency in each of the three PISA courses. These findings highlighted the pressing need to address the quality of basic education. Consequently, the Rotaract Club of Holy Spirit sought to address this issue by instigating a new way of pedagogical approaches by means of a curriculum made by the club’s educators, improvised learning modules, and thematically-designed RACbay-Aral.
The RACbay-Aral encompassed a three-way scheme to render a quality education. The first approach, which is curriculum planning, is a series of syllabus-making activities aligned with the curriculum and syllabus made by the Department of Education (DepEd). Curriculum planning aims to delve into the band-aid solution implemented by most organizations.
Improvised learning modules come next. The officers and chairs of RACbay-Aral proposed creating improvised learning modules that are in line with the DepEd’s goals and objectives. These modules would serve as educators’ proof of whether or not the learners are able to learn from each discussion. In addition to that, the modules that will be made are also in line with the seven (7) areas of focus of Rotary International.
Finally, thematically-designed RACbay-Aral such as Kuwentong Bitbit and Valuing Head, Heart, and Hands, partnered by Kariton ng Maralita Network (KMN), Philippine Normal University students, and PUP Sukarela Association of Young Extentionists. Recipients of RACbay-Aral: Kuwentong Bitbit were interested in hearing stories but needed to work on improving their reading skills. On the other hand, recipients of RACbay-Aral: Valuing Head, Heart, and Hands were obedient during the discussion, however, there were numerous times that they needed to catch their attention, for they had a short attention span. These conclusions were drawn from data collected by volunteer educators and assessments.
The creation of RACbay-Aral came from deep analysis and research under the scope of the literacy rate of learners in the Philippines and certain factors affecting not just the recipients themselves but also the overall condition of the educational system here in our country, such as the percentage presented by PISA and other surface level solutions. These factors drive the club to create a project that not just patches the superficial solution made by others but to have a sustainable and long-term effect on learners’ growth with the help of the aforementioned solution curated by the club itself.
Department of Education (2019), PISA 2018 National Report of the Philippines, link from: https://www.deped.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/PISA-2018-Philippine-National-Report.pdf