Day 6: Sekolah Global Indo-Asia

What I loved best about the school is that although the students are required to pass A or O Level Exams administered by Cambridge University for the International Baccalaureate, it has seamlessly integrated a learner-centered, an activity-oriented, and a teacher-as-facilitator approach to classroom learning.

These methods are not new to me as I have tried it myself inside my classroom. I do agree with the use of varying strategies to ignite student learning. I know though that I have to practice it some more and there are innumerable ways and approaches to be able to make things possible.

Day 5: St. Hilda’s Secondary School

My third year in St. Hilda’s Secondary provided me an opportunity to go deeper into the leadership and management of this premiere church-run school in Singapore. Our conversation with principal Khoo Tse Torng worked in two ways, he shared about how he manages this very big school with thousand students and we shared about the development in the education sector in the Philippines. His insights were enlightening and he is pleased to know that our country is striding ambitious steps towards improving education, even though most people don’t agree about it. Sad.

His very accommodating stance have allowed our team to be comfortable in asking questions and sharing what we feel about continuing our partnership with their school. He was, in fact, very open about sharing more personal details about being the head of the school.

Reflecting upon his insights, I should be keen to:

1. Set important talks and meetings with different teams daily. Internal collaboration is very important in transforming the school. Instead of teachers doing best practices isolated from each other, we can do team teaching and partner teaching. To be successful in this, we have to set weekly formal meetings and informal talks to evaluate our practices. Reflection is integral to school success, all the more collective reflections will definitely expedite all our goals. we have to meet and talk. We have to share and perform and share again.

2. Collaborate with other schools that are open to the idea of mindshare. in Singapore, the Ministry of Education has grouped all the schools according to zones. Each zone is made of secondary and primary schools. School heads meet together and share their best practices. Gone are the days of stiff competition among schools. It is now high time for maximum impact to learners through collaboration and teamwork. I pray that this happen with the schools here in Puerto Princesa.

3. Adopt Singapore Excellence Model and build our teachers’ capacity to integrate Singapore curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Now that I have more time to do this, our school’s main thrust is to benchmark with Singapore curriculum. This means our faculty will all together learn how Singapore becomes so successful. Our partners in Singapore will be able to extend help, but our priority is simple, make everyone in LifeCollege lifelong learners. We don’t in fact needed much training, what we need is to do things and perform things inside the classroom. That is learning.

4. Integrate strategic planning and long-term visioning. The School Excellence Model is a vital step towards our benchmarking effort. We will start to think about 2015, 2020 and 2030. Once the target are set and the key result areas and key performance indicators are laid down, we will be able to see where to get the money to achieve our vision. We will start a culture of high expectations inside while at the same time, we will not lose our zest for life.

5. Infect local community with innovation ideas. Our next big thing is to integrate the community in the learning process. We have to be able to tap into local community resources and at the same time be able to help and give back to local communities. The world will be our classroom and we need to direct our teacher’s toward this track.

Learning in Manila, Singapore and Indonesia

This is my fifth year of bringing students to Singapore, Malaysia, And Indonesia.

And things seems to get smoother, better, and more relaxed.

When we talk about school and learning, nothing beats experiential learning. And when I say experiential, I mean going out the classroom and seeing the world. LITERALLY. This is what happens to the Global Competence Class, that our team from LifeCollege initiated five years ago.
Today, we have ushered 68 young people to discover South East Asian destinations in a2-week long journey of discovery, learning and play.

University Trail
Visiting the Philippine’s finest universities provides an opportunity to our students to observe university life. In UST, they have experienced a culture that stems from classical tradition but has successfully transitioned to adapt modern culture. Just by being inside the university, they feel like they were transported into Spain. The collective identity and association to that identity through events and multimedia leaves everyone a lesson that one’s identity is part of a group culture. It finds strength in it rather than weakness.

At the University of the Philippines, our students realized that they missed on pushing themselves to their limit. When they see the culture of learning that is intense, sincere, and purposive, they got a feeling of I should have been here. Nonetheless, whichever school they get in, they have a resolve to excel and be the best.

Museum Exposure
Seeing the collections inside the UST museum provided them perspective about Catholicism in the Philippines, Spanish era coins and relics, animal preservation. They witnessed a photo gallery of UST’s welcome to its neo-centenary.

The walk through Ayala Museum

In Singapore, The Asian Civilization Museum

School Immersion