Progress Report on the

Project
eGov Fund 2006 & 2007

Submitted to:

The eGovernment Fund Technical Working Group

Submitted by:

The eSkwela Project Team

ICT4BE Program CICT-HCDG 2nd Floor CICT-NCC Building, Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, University of the Phillipines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City Tel. No. (632) 920-7412

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PROJECT OVERVIEW The eSkwela Project is a flagship project of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), through its Human Capital Development Group (HCDG), that provides ICT-enhanced educational opportunities for Filipino out-of-school youth and adults. It likewise aims to help reduce the digital divide and enhance the capacity of these individuals to be successful participants in a global and knowledge-based economy. The initiative responds directly to a national development priority and will bring elearning opportunities and ICT for learning resources to mobile teachers / instructional managers and outof-school learners in the Philippines in an exciting, innovative, and locally meaningful way. Under this project, community-based e-Learning Centers or eSkwelas conduct ICT-enhanced alternative education programs for interested individuals in major centers around the country. These centers will serve as venues where out-of-school learners and other community members can learn new skills and competencies, review for the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Exam of the DepEd-Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS), and/or help prepare learners to rejoin the formal school system, if so desired.

PHASE 1: AEF GRANT – PILOT STAGE CICT-HCDG was able to secure a grant from the APEC Education Foundation (Korea) for the establishment of eSkwela Centers to provide “proof of concept” in four (4) pilot sites, namely: Quezon City, San Jose del Monte, Cebu City, and Cagayan de Oro City. Recipient communities were provided with 21 units of networked computers, relevant peripherals, one-year Internet connectivity, funds for site renovation, relevant educator’s training, elearning modules (developed by the Sandiwaan Center for Learning), a customized Learning Management System (LMS), and project monitoring and evaluation. In return, these communities were expected to commit to the use of the ICT-based eSkwela Instructional Design – using the elearning materials and the customized LMS – within DepEd’s ALS A&E framework. Community stakeholders were likewise expected to participate heavily in the project by managing the Center operations; opening up venues for collaborative, relevant, and engaged learning; and providing support for community-based learner projects. The four (4) sites are operational and are now on their second year of implementation. During the recently concluded eSkwela Evaluation and Planning Workshop held in July 1-4, 2008, representatives from each site reported on their unique experiences, challenges and concerns, recommendations, and immediate action plans. They were happy to report on enrollment, A&E takers, and passers, as follows:

%age of A&E %age of %age of Actual Registered passers/ exam passers/ takers / A&E to take the total passers takers total exam A&E learners learners takers exam QC 183 120 116 69 59.48% 63.39% 37.70% SJDM 120 106 90 25 27.78% 75.00% 20.83% Cebu 100 95 71 52 73.24% 71.00% 52.00% CDO 160 85 79 58 73.42% 49.38% 36.25% TOTALS 563 406 356 204 57.30% 63.23% 36.23% * A&E exam given in February 2008 It was reported that the pilot eSkwela Centers produced a total of 563 learners in their first year of operations, of which 356 have passed the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Exam given last February 2008. The average passing rate of 57.30% (with a high of 73.42% and a low of 27.78%) surpassed the 36.61% and the 29% average passing rates of the four regions combined and the entire nation, respectively. Site eSkwela Learners

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The following graph shows the comparative performance of eSkwela learners vis-à-vis city-wide and regional averages in the A&E exam.
80.00% 70.00% 60.00% 50.00% 40.00% 30.00% 20.00% 10.00% 0.00% eSkwela BALS - City BALS - Region 1 59.48% 30.19% 32.43% 2 27.78% 21.00% 29.00% 3 73.24% 37.00% 38.00% 4 73.42% 46.00% 47.00%

An assessment of the data will be undertaken to look into the reasons behind the good performance of exam takers, compared to dismal results from previous years that used the print module model. It should be noted that the pilot sites used a mix of elearning and print modules since the AEF Grant was able to finance only the first set of 35 modules. An initial gains study that would look at these variables in a controlled setting is being planned for 2009/2010 to look at the various interrelated factors that include use of more stringent selection process and exam readiness assessment, elearning vs. print modules, more regular review sessions, teacher training, use of the Internet for learning enrichment, etc. This will have to be done in collaboration with DepEd-BALS, a reputable education research body, and other stakeholders. A detailed discussion of the Phase 1 implementation can be found in the Terminal Report submitted by CICT to AEF last February 2008.

FUNDING FROM EGOV FUND 2006 – PREPARATION FOR ROLL-OUT Additional funding amounting to P30 Million was received from the eGovernment Fund 2006, under the ICT4BE Program of HCDG which likewise covers 320 iSchools sites and various Content Development projects. The original project design was supposed to use the money to establish 14 more sites around the country to serve as additional pilot sites and models for future wide-scale deployment. However, recent developments such as inquiries from various parties (LGUs, NGOs, etc.) who are interested in financing the infrastructure component of the project (i.e. site renovation and hardware acquisition and installation) convinced CICT management to devote the new funding on developing additional elearning modules that will be beneficial to the nation’s out-of-school youth and adults. Further, communities can tap existing ICT infrastructure that are not being maximized (i.e. in schools, in internet cafes, in barangay halls, in Community eCenters) to serve as the community’s counterpart contribution to the project and thus heighten community ownership for the project.

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As such, the project was redesigned to use the P30 Million for the following: • Content Development for the next set of 120 ALS modules (life skills) and 65 TESDA modules (covering 4 livelihood/voctech courses) • Regional Roadshows to promote the community-led model for eSkwela implementations • Trainers’ Training to capacitate ALS field implementers to conduct relevant eSkwela Training Courses to potential site implementers These activities were aligned to the Vision-Mission-Strategic Goals set forth during the eSkwela Conference last September 2007, as follows: Vision: The eSkwela Program will be widely available across the Philippines to empower out-of-school youth and adults to be globally competitive through the effective use of ICTs in alternative learning. Mission: The central purpose and role of eSkwela is defined as: In partnership with various groups, eSkwela provides out-of-school youth and adults with opportunities towards attaining basic education competence and life skills through an ICT-enabled environment. Strategic objectives: 1. To gain extensive acceptance and support for eSkwela nationwide. 2. To become the leading/automatic choice for ICT-based non-formal/ alternative learning and livelihood programs. 3. To serve as a primary model for ICT integration in education. 4. To oversee and monitor physical and virtual eSkwela Centers that are well-managed, sustainable, and replicable. Updates on these components are as follows (please refer to the attachments for a more detailed discussion on each component): Progress as of October 2008 A. Development of ALS & livelihood/voc-tech elearning modules (a detailed report on this may be requested for reference) The content development process followed by the eSkwela Project Team during Phase 1 (with Sandiwaan Center for Learning) was extensively reviewed and eventually overhauled to ensure a quality process flow. An expert consultant, Dr. Lloyd Espiritu along with his team of Instructional Systems Technology instructors from the Computer Science Department of De la Salle University, was hired to provide the necessary guidance and supervision. Four (4) partner State Universities and Colleges were tapped to develop 120 ALS modules and 65 TESDA modules (4 courses) through individual MOAs using the progress payments scheme: Benguet State University (BSU), Bukidnon State University (BukSU), Cavite State University (CvSU), Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST). To assure that the content adhere to the ALS ideals, fifteen (15) selected DepEd BALS personnel and field implementers were contracted to provide content expertise and feedback during the review process. Likewise, TESDA fielded 18 expert field instructors for their own review process. The capability building workshops for those involved (i.e. SUC content development teams, ALS and TESDA reviewers) were conducted from November 2007 to March 2008. The training covered topics such as Instructional Design, Storyboarding, and Scriptwriting for eLearning modules; Interactive Flash 1 and 2. A total of 151 participants were trained, composed of 120 trainees from the four (4) SUC development teams, 13 BALS reviewers, and 18 TESDA reviewers.

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ALS modules: The first set of working scripts were submitted by December 2007, to be followed by the actual modules: Cycle 1 = July2008 (12), Cycle 2 = August2008 (28), Cycle 3 = October2008 (40), Cycle 4 = December2008 (40). Launch/release date has been scheduled for January 2009. A number of modules have undergone the complete set of reviews – from storyboard/script review to alpha review to beta review. These modules are undergoing final revisions and shall be ready for certification and distribution to the sites by December 2008/January 2009. TESDA modules: WVCST was contracted for this set of modules covering four (4) courses, as follows: Automotive Servicing, Bartending, Horticulture, HVAC (Heat Ventilation and Airconditioning). As with the ALS modules, a number have undergone the complete set of reviews. The modules are targeted to be released by February/March 2009. It was agreed that the schedule of deliverables be moved because of the problems arising from a number of print materials that need to be further reviewed and certified by TESDA. Further, an Addendum to the MOA has been signed last October 2008 to accommodate the revised number of module counts, owing to the more complex nature of content development for technical topics such as these – the additional budget will be taken from the eGovernment Fund 2007. B. Core Team Workshops Keeping with the spirit of collaboration and empowerment set by the eSkwela Project Team, representatives from BALS and the four (4) pilot sites were tapped to become part of the eSkwela Core Team. Members of this team served as Resource Persons for the development of the training designs as well as the conduct of the Regional Roadshows and Trainers’ Training implementations. A Core Team Orientation, Planning, and Training Workshop was held last Oct. 2007 to finalize the materials for the upcoming workshop and to train the core team of trainers so as to ensure consistent implementations across teams. Follow-through meetings/workshops were held last November 2007 and March 2008 to ensure regular consultations, evaluation, and enhancement of assignments and activities. C. 17 Regional Roadshows (a detailed report on this may be requested for reference) The roadshows were designed to allow the Core Team promote the eSkwela Project from region to region as well as meet and network with future partners who would be willing to set up their own community-based eSkwela initiatives. As with the Content Development component, the eSkwela Project team partnered with several SUCs through Event Management Proposals (100% transfer of funds; SUCs to submit Audited Financial Reports and savings). SUCs were tasked to coordinate with their respective DepEd Regional and Division Offices, invite and confirm the attendance of participants, source the venue and caterer, and provide board and lodging for live-in participants. Details are shown on the component attachment. The roadshows were held from November 2007 to January 2008, with two (2) members from the eSkwela Core Team serving as the Resrouce Persons, except for the pilot runs in Region IV-A and Region III last November 2007 where the non-CICT core team members were distributed to observe the proceedings. There was an average of 60 participants per roadshow – mostly coming from the

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ALS Units of DepEd Regional and Division Offices, with a few coming from LGUs, NGOs, and other government offices. With the meager fund budgeted for marketing collaterals, the project team designed and reproduced marketing collaterals that included eSkewla business cards, photocopied brochures (on colored paper), project CDs that included a project brief as well as a short Audio-Video Presentation (AVP) produced in cooperation with the eSkwela-QC site implementers and learners. The reception had been very positive. As expected, there were a lot of questions on how to set up and operate eSkwela – with a number of inquiries focusing on CICT’s call for community-led initiatives (i.e. no infra deployment). Afternoon sessions were scheduled so that the Core Team members could meet with the DepEd Regional and Division ALS officials to come up with an initial strategic plan on how eSkwela can be rolled out in their respective regions. Most of the regional representatives set their targets to at least 1 eSkwela Center set up per region by 2008. It was emphasized that CICT’s eSkwela Project Team will continue to assist in guiding the existing and planned site implementations by providing a Readiness Assessment Form, templates for the Memorandum of Agreement and the Local Ordinance/Resolution in support of ALS, and a Franchise Manual. These documents will be supported by prompt communication, social marketing/community mobilization, and regular monitoring and evaluation activities. D. Trainers' Training (clusters of regions) (a detailed report on this may be requested for reference) This project component aims to develop a pool of trainers for each region that can be tapped by interested eSkwela "investors" for their training requirements for their new eSkwela site implementations. Participants were trained on how to conduct the following eSkwela courses: • • Center Management (January 2008: BPSU, NORMISIST) – introduces the essential knowledge areas and skill sets that facilitate effective understanding, decision-making, and actions in the set-up, operations, management, and sustainability of an eSkwela Center Teacher Training (March 2008: CLSU, CvSU, CNU, NORMISIST) - meant for Mobile Teachers and Instructional Managers; aims to equip the participants with skills towards effectively using the ICT-based Instructional Design customized for the eSkwela Project; concentration will be on ALS, ICT4E, use of the modules vis-a-vis the LMS, including a site visit for observations of actual sessions Network Admin/Lab Mgt (March 2008: CLSU, CvSU, CNU, NORMISIST) - aims to equip the participants with skills in the set-up, administration and maintenance of the infrastructure component (computer hardware, software, network) of an eSkwela Center; covers technical skills in Linux OS, networking, maintaining the facilities and equipment, including a site visit for observations of actual sessions

The Project Team scheduled 10 separate implementations from January to March 2008. As with the Content Development and Regional Roadshow components, SUCs were tapped via Training Management Proposals (100% transfer of funds; SUCs to submit Audited Financial Reports and savings). A total of 350 of the targeted 389 participants were trained, or a 90% participation rate.

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Center Mgt SUBTOTALS # of pax/region Teacher Training

Venue/ SUC partner BPSU NORMISIST 6 CLSU CvSU CNU NORMISIST 4 CLSU CvSU CNU NORMISIST

# of regions 8 9

targeted 106 113 219 24 24 24 30 102 16 16 16 20 68

actual * 102 88 190 24 19 23 24 90 17 17 16 20 70 350

% participation 96.23% 77.88% 86.76% 100.00% 79.17% 95.83% 80.00% 88.24% 106.25% 106.25% 100.00% 100.00% 102.94% 89.97%

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SUBTOTALS # of pax/region Network Admin 4 4 4 5

SUBTOTALS

TOTALS 389 * Refer to Attachment B for the participation breakdown by Region

Being the first wide-scale ICT training for ALS implementers, the eSkwela trainers’ training implementations met a number of challenges that the project team is working on – such as unqualified participants being sent from the field (despite the constant reiteration of the selection criteria set by CICT) that required the training teams to revert to Basic ICT Literacy training instead of proceeding with the original Trainers’ Training design. Further, some of the Resource Persons tapped lacked the necessary facilitation skills or topic expertise (i.e. emphasis on the ICT4E approach) to effectively conduct the training courses. A review of the training design as well as follow-through activities will be undertaken to get the top trainees to proceed on to the next step of Trainers’ Training Workshops to further prepare them to take on the role of eSkwela Field Trainers. E. Applications Development and Technical Support Technical assistance was regularly provided to site implementations, along with the development and distribution of a Network Administration Training Manual/Handbook for eSkwela Laboaratory Managers/Network Admins. A thesis group form DLSU is working on the eSkwela LMS v. 2 as their thesis output. The project team is likewise looking at customizing the iSchools Project Monitoring and Evaluation Information System (PMEIS) being developed by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). More on these in the next section. F. Project Management The eSkwela Project Team is being managed by the HCDG HEA, supported by a team of five capable and dedicated individuals. Each project staff member, while given personal areas of focus, are required to be team players – i.e. always flexible and open to challenges.

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Four (4) contractual staff were hired to work on the project, along with the two (2) organic CICT personnel. Budget utilization is shown below:

eSkwela Expenses as of eGov Fund 06 STATUS disbursed CAPITAL OUTLAY PMO workspace & hardware MOOE Content Development - Contracted Services (SUCs) ALS (120) 13,855,610.00 Livelihood (65) 6,081,080.00 BALS review committee 690,000.00 TESDA review committee 373,750.00 Regional Roadshows 100% transfer of funds to SUCs (all regions except NCR) NCR obligated -

6,705,948.00 912,162.00 -

7,149,662.00 5,168,918.00 690,000.00 373,750.00

2,390,703.55 7,500.00

2,390,703.55 7,500.00

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Capability Building (Workshops, Seminars, etc.) Trainers' Training - 100 % transfer of funds 4,958,241.75 Additional Content Devt Trainings 731,438.00 Core Team Workshops 238,532.00 AEF Conference Other Expenses Travel & Per Diems (M&E, meetings, etc.) Supplies Contracted Services - Project Staff TOTAL EXPENDITURES 21,681.00

4,958,241.75 731,438.00 238,532.00 21,681.00

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64,678.00 276,725.75 239,762.50 29,929,702.55

64,678.00 31,725.75 239,762.50 16,302,372.55

245,000.00 13,627,330.00

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Other Expenses, 581,166.25 , 2% AEF Conference, 21,681.00 , 0% Capability Building, 5,928,211.75 , 20%

Regional Roadshows, 2,398,203.55 , 8%

Content, 21,000,440.00 , 70%

G.

Progress Monitoring The eSkwela Project Team is constantly communicating and coordinating with BALS and the pilot site implementers – discussing and solving various concerns, sharing success stories, etc. Site reports were provided during the recently concluded eSkwela Planning and Evaluation Workshop. The results of such monitoring activities served as the basis for the next Project Proposal submitted to the CICT management for eGov Fund 2007 funding.

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FUNDING FROM EGOV FUND 2007 – ROLL-OUT Additional funding amounting to P30 Million has been received from the eGovernment Fund 2007, under the ICT4BE Program of HCDG which likewise covers 320 iSchools sites and various Content Development projects. The project is using P30 Million for the following: • Content Development for the next set of 80 ALS modules (life skills) and six (6) elearning modules on the Computer and Internet Literacy Course (CILC) • Capability Building (Continuing Teacher Training & Enhancement Program (CTTEP)) and continued enhancement of the customized eSkwela Instructional Model • eSkwela Marketing (External) and Communications (Internal) Program • Site Coordination, Monitoring, and Evaluation focusing on the provision of direction and assistance for the national roll-out (i.e. regional and local implementations of the eSkwela Project) • Applications Development (i.e. Systems Analysis and Design for the customized LMS v. 2 and a customized eSkwela PMEIS) These activities are still aligned to the Vision-Mission-Strategic Goals set forth during the eSkwela Conference and have been validated during the recently concluded eSkwela Evaluation and Planning Workshop, held last July 1 to 4, 2008, participated in by representatives from BALS, the four (4) pilot sites, selected ALS Cluster Leads, and selected SUC Teacher Training Coordinators. Updates on these components are as follows (please refer to the attachments for a more detailed discussion on each component): Progress as of October 2008 A. Development of ALS & livelihood/voc-tech elearning modules (a detailed report on this may be requested for reference) The development of eSkwela elearning modules continues to be the main focus of the project funds. There are a lot of ALS modules remaining – from the A&E non-core set of modules and the Bridge Program. Requests have likewise been made for modules in Filipino and other Philippine languages. Another option would be to develop elearning versions of the add-on livelihood skills/cottage industry modules that ALS centers regularly provide to learners. These modules will train learners to confidently engage in income-generating activities and various cottage industries. As with the development of the ALS(120) modules funded eGov Fund 2006, this content development phase is still being subjected to the expert guidance of Dr. Lloyd Espiritu and his team. Three (3) partner State Universities and Colleges have tapped to develop 60 ALS modules through individual MOAs using the progress payments scheme: Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU), Central Luzon State University (CLSU), and Western Mindanao State University (WMSU). A new set of twelve (12) DepEd BALS personnel and field implementers have likewise been contracted to provide content expertise and feedback during the review process. Launch/release date has been scheduled for February/March 2009. The capability building workshops for the SUC content development teams were conducted from May to June 2008. The same training design, albeit more efficient design, was followed for this run. A total of 63 participants were trained. The 10 BALS reviewers underwent their training workshop within July 2008, in time for the Storyboard/Script Review of Cycle 1 modules. A new set of 20 ALS modules and six (6) Computer and Internet Literacy Course (CILC) modules will be contracted out to Cavite State University (CvSU) and Western Visayas College of Science

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and Technology (WVCST), respectively, under the progress payment scheme. Three (3) experienced BALS reviewers and two (2) CILC trainers will likewise be contracted to provide content expertise and feedback during the review process. Launch/release date has been scheduled for July 2009. The team is also planning an eSkwela content launch during the eSkwela Conference to be held in the 2nd quarter of 2009 – more on this in the section on Site Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation. Special Project Considering that CICT is handling the biggest multimedia content development initiative in the country at present, the Commission held a Content Development Conference in Balanga City, Bataan Province on 28-30 October 2008. Funding for this activity came from the new AEF Grant (USD 50,000). It brought together CICT’s various content development partners who shared experiences and methodologies, learned from and collaborate with one another, and formulated quality standards in this area. Its specific objectives were as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. To share and document best practices and lessons learned To identify content development issues To showcase initial outputs to stakeholders To invite possible partners and sponsors to the project

With a conference theme of “Working in Teams”, it was attended by the content development teams (a mixture of Instructional Designers, Programmers, Media Editors, Graphic Artists) from 16 partners, DepEd ICT in Education team, DepEd-BALS content experts / evaluators, TESDA content evaluators, funding agencies, and other stakeholders, with a total of 145 participants. The presentations and ensuing discussions provided the participants opportunities to reflect on their own content development experiences and consequently formulate their corresponding action plans. The participants enthusiastically shared and gained insights and recommendations that allowed the group to formulate specific guidelines for current and future content development initiatives, in three areas: management, instructional design, and technical development. In addition, CICT and DepEd were able to emphasize the need for content development initiatives in light of the country’s ICT in Education efforts vis-à-vis Education for All (EFA) Agenda and the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA). B. Continued Capability Building This component responds to the clear need to further improve the instructional model being utilized by providing a richer array of appropriate ICT tools/resources as well as more guidance, modeling, and handholding through an enhanced teacher training and monitoring program. Towards this end, there are still a number of project components that need to be worked on – such as improving the number of available modules, enhancing the features and optimal utilization of the LMS, conducting the next stages of teacher training to focus on ICT-enhanced application of the problem/projectbased approach, conversion of the existing A&E Program Session Guides from conventional delivery to an ICT-enhanced delivery mode, development and conduct of a systematic Performance Monitoring Mechanism for CTTEP, etc. Through continuous research on ICT for ALS, the project team has come up with a diagram showing the ideal eSkwela Instructional Model reviewed and enhanced by the Core Team during the eSkwela Evaluation and Planning Workshop (Attachment C). This will provide the team with a clear framework to work from in designing the next sets of Teacher Training modules, such as:

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• •

Module Guide Development and Review Workshops: Training Workshop on Optimizing the Use of the Internet and the Learning Management System towards a Self-paced, Blended, Project-based Learning Approach plus a Writeshop for eSkwela Module Guides – January and March 2009 Refresher Course for the eSkwela Core Team – including the Basic Training Management Course – February 2009 Refresher Course for current and new eSkwela implementers on the proper use of the LMS and Module Guides – January and March 2009

The team will be tapping SUC partners and selected ALS national trainers in designing, developing, and conducting the pilot runs of a number of these workshops and training courses, tentatively scheduled from January to March 2009. Prof. Patricia Arinto of UPOU, has agreed to serve as the project’s expert consultant who will provide the necessary guidance for these initiatives. Further, there is an obvious need for the eSkwela Center Managers to undergo skills training on effective Social Marketing, Business Models, Resource Management, and Project Sustainability. Research is being undertaken vis-à-vis the National Competency Standards for CeC Managers being established by the Competency & Standards Development unit of HCDG. Activities related to this shall be done using the eSkwela budget from the eGov Fund 2008. Special Project Using funds under the new AEF Grant (USD 50,000), the eSkwela Project Team will implement a pilot run of an ICT Camp on November 19-26, 2008. The Camp is targeting a total of 73 people in attendance, including selected mobile teachers/instructional managers and learners from the four pilot sites, BALS representatives, Resource Persons, and various stakeholders. The ICT camp intends to promote the effective use of ICT in teaching and learning through project-based learning and development of User-Generated Content (UGC). The Camp objectives are as follows: 1. To inspire eSkwela out-of-school youth and adults in learning life skills and developing technological literacy through project-based learning 2. To enable eSkwela learners and instructional managers (IMs) to share experiences, knowledge, and resources with other learners and IMs from other eSkwela sites 3. To build leadership skills, communication skills, teamwork and camaraderie among eSkwela learners and implementers 4. To enable the participants to design and produce sample ICT-based learner portfolio outputs that other learners can model after Patterned after the Intel Learn and Computer Clubhouse models that look into the effective use of ICTs in the development of UGCs for the community, the eSkwela ICT Camp will bring together various ICT Resource Persons and Educators who will train and guide the participants in maximizing the use of ICT tools and resources toward enhancing the e-learning experience for learners. Particular focus is on the use of common equipment (such as cellular phones and digital cameras) and open source software as tools in designing and producing learner portfolio projects that are appropriate to the eSkwela elearning modules as well as relevant to the situation and/or needs of the community. These individual or group outputs will serve as models that eSkwela learners can pattern after, within a project-based learning environment. C. Marketing (External) and Communications (Internal) Program During the eSkwela Strategic Planning Workshop held last September 2007, the group observed that the project lacks a marketing program. It was noted that there is a need to strengthen national and

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local awareness and presence through effective marketing schemes. Such a marketing program will complement the project team’s information campaign efforts during the project roadshows. Marketing materials are likewise necessary in pursuing strategic alliances with various stakeholders (local, national, regional, and international) for heightened interest, acceptance, support, participation/collaboration/tie-ups, and sponsorship. Among the planned collaterals are: mini-booklet information brochure, project poster, ALS poster (for both potential “investors” and learners), a professional AVP and segment-filler, an interactive project module. The services will be bidded out – with the release of the collaterals targeted for the 2nd quarter of 2009. It is also crucial for the project team to design, set up, and manage a reliable communications program that will provide CICT, BALS, and the site implementers opportunities to hold regular online meetings, submit reports, discuss various concerns, share best practices, collaborate, and basically to learn from and help each other out. This will allow the stakeholders to regularly discuss goings-on, best practices, challenges and possible solutions, recommendations, etc. - allowing the CICT project team to conduct online monitoring and evaluation activities. All these will be incorporated in the online eSkwela Monitoring and Evaluation system. D. Site Coordination, Monitoring, and Evaluation The eSkwela Project, through its Core Team, will continue to provide the necessary guidance and assistance to interested site “investors” and implementers. During the Regional Roadshows and succeeding Trainers’ Training implementations, it had been recommended to target at least 1 site / region for 2008 – either using existing infrastructure (i.e. schools, universities, CeCs, internet cafes, barangay centers, etc.) or investing on new infrastructure. To date, there are already four (4) new eSkwela sites: Ormoc City, NCC-FOO Zamboanga City, Loyola Heights-QC, and Davao City. A number of sites have signified their intention to start operations within November/Decemer 2008: • • • • • • • Payatas Commonwealth, Quezon City Save our Streetchidren Foundation, Benguet People's Initiative for Learning and Community Development (Baguio City) Laoag City Bacolod City Misamis Oriental National High School – ALS Program, Oroquieta City Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur

The team is also coordinating with at least 20 potential site stakeholders – mostly from the LGU and the NGO sectors – who are interested in setting up eSkwela sites in their respective areas, namely: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Bgy. Calumpang, Marikina City Make Kids Smile Foundation, La Union (NGO, c/o Timothy Warden) Baco, Mindoro Oriental Education Network (E-Net) Makati City (e-Libraries) Region IV-A Region V (Libon, Albay; Camarines Norte; Naga City) Camarines Sur (mobile laboratory – laptops) Tanauan, Leyte Marawi City Internet Cafe Association, Cebu City Pagadian City (c/o Gov. Ceriles)

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13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Cagayan de Oro City (Bgys. Lapasan, Makabalan, Bogo) – Cong. Rufus Rodriguez Malaybalay City & Valencia City, Bukidnon TELOF Region X (6 satellites) Davao del Norte Gawad Kalinga TransAsia / Phinma’s Community Social Responsibility Program Netopia (through voucher system) LGU and STI-Zamboanga City

For each of these potential stakeholders, the team sends reference materials and a team representative to conduct social mobilization activities and discuss the details of the potential partnership. Since it will be ALS and/or ALS service providers who will be implementing the instructional model once the center is set up, CICT requires the active participation of local ALS unit in these discussions. Clustered training workshops are also conducted to train the ALS implementers (mobile teachers or instructional managers) on the proper use of the eSkwela LMS and elearning modules. In addition, the iSchools Project encourages their school beneficiaries to open up their respective school laboratories as eSkwela Centers after school hours or during weekends. The project manager presented this option to the school principals that attended the iSchools Congress last March 2008. The team is currently discussing this with DepEd-Central – for them to come out with a directive to instruct secondary schools to do so. It was recommended that the team make a pitch to the DepEd Regional Directors during the monthly DepEd ManComm Meeting as well as the Division Superintendents through another venue. Partnership Documents The project team provides potential site investors and implementers an array of partnership documents to guide them through the process of establishing and preparing for an eSkwela implementation. These documents had been developed by the eSkwela Project Team and had been presented to the Core Team for review and enhancement in June and July 2008. These include: • • Readiness Assessment Form (available online through the eskwela wikispace) Templates of: o Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement with community stakedholders o Local Ordinance/Resolution for LGU support to ALS o Grant Proposal for the groups to send proposals for funding and sustainability eSkwela Social Franchise Manual, 1st edition (Business and Operations Guide) from conceptualization, social mobilization and marketing, center models, personnel and roles, set-up, operations, sustainability; likewise spells out various requirements and monitoring and evaluation performance indicators and tools

Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators and Instruments The team is also researching on ICT4E M&E baseline information requirements, objectives, and corresponding performance indicators and customizing these for eSkwela – covering various aspects of the project, from business operations to teacher competencies and the effective use of the customized instructional model. Instruments have been designed and will be reviewed and enhanced by a committee from the eSkwela Core Team to ensure validity and reliability. The main references used for the indicators and instruments were CICT’s NICS-Teachers and UNESCO’s ICT Toolkit. The initial review and validation workshop was conducted last 22-24 September 2008. The pilot conduct of the TNA will be done in early December, followed by the second review and validation workshop on 10-12 December 2008.

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An eSkwela Conference is scheduled on April 2009 to allow the current implementations to showcase and share experiences and good practices, collaborate, and learn from one another. It will likewise be a great opportunity to bring all project partners (current and potential) together to celebrate eSkwela as a national program and build communities of practice among clustered sites. Initial Gains and Impact Study Initial discussions are being done on looking into the effectiveness of the eSkwela Instructional Model as a viable alternative to the conventional ALS delivery mode (that of using print modules and traditional face-to-face sessions). Based on Project Management principles and design, an Impact Study can only be done long after the project life – perhaps 2 to 3 years into actual operations, that is, when the model has already matured and stabilized for operations. As such, an Initial Gains/ Benefits Study will be proposed for funding in the near future to check if the project is achieving the set targets and objectives as well as check on lessons learned and implementation challenges thereby providing insights on further enhancing the project. A meticulous design has to be done to set control variables. Furthermore, it is recommended that a reputable third party be engaged in such a study. E. Applications Development and Technical Support As previously mentioned, the project team coordinated with a thesis group from De La Salle University in coming up with a more robust version of the Learning Management System (LMS). The group defended their output last September 2008. Although the LMS is a working version, it is projected that the output will still require further customization, revisions, and additions, especially to allow online access and use. Further, since the system was done by a group of students, afterproject support and training will prove to be difficult. As such, the system analysis, design, development, testing, training, and after-deployment support will be part of the eSkwela contract with the College of Engineering of the University of the Philippines. SAD will be done in the first few months of 2009 – with the development targeted to commence by May 2009, using part of the eSkwela-eGov Fund 2008 budget. Teachers will likewise be considered users of the LMS when the CTTEP elearning modules go online, hopefully by early 2010. A constant look at emerging technologies for ICT in Education is also being carried out continually to provide eSkwela partners fresh ideas and models to work with – i.e. low-cost alternatives for infrastructure set-ups (e.g. private-public partnerships, thin clients, PC recycling, mobile laboratories, etc.), innovative ICT in Education practices, incentive programs, etc. F. Project Management The eSkwela Project Team is being managed by the HCDG HEA, supported by a team of 11 capable and dedicated individuals. Each project staff member, while given personal areas of focus, are required to be team players – i.e. always flexible and open to challenges. Ten contractual staff have been hired to work on the project along with the two (2) organic CICT personnel. Project hiring was delayed because DBM-OPIB released the list of approved project staff positions only on April 24, 2008 – causing movement in the conduct of several project activities by about four (4) months. The ICT4BE Program has already consulted with DBM on possible solutions to avoid such delays in the future and will be implementing these for future project funding cycles.

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Budget utilization is shown below:
CAPITAL OUTLAY PMO workspace & hardware MOOE ALS (60) ALS(60) review comm TESDA Addendum ALS(20) ALS(20) review comm CILC(6) CILC review comm Systems Development 6,827,747.20 345,000.00 885,440.00 3,750,000.00 145,000.00 888,000.00 30,000.00 3,040,000.00 Content Development - Contracted Services 4,096,648.32 2,731,098.88 345,000.00 885,440.00 3,750,000.00 145,000.00 888,000.00 30,000.00 3,040,000.00 Capability Building (Workshops, Seminars, etc.) Module Guide Development & Review Pilot TNA various Training Workshops Content Devt Trainings Core Team Workshops eSkwela Conference Other Expenses Travel & Per Diems (M&E, meetings, etc.) PMO Electrical Supplies Project Staff KABISIG Booth Marketing Collaterals ICT4BE Planning Cash Advance (various MOOE), Rep Exp Operating Exp – Nov/Dec TOTAL 2,357,493.60 16,800.00 2,376,203.13 1,542,269.04 635,531.64 2,128,965.30 59,700.00 1,542,269.04 493,729.64 23,760.00 2,357,493.60 16,800.00 2,292,743.13 256,560.00 141,802.00 2,128,965.30 disbursed 1,139,416.52 obligated for obligation 1,139,416.52

117,648.00 21,935.00 103,400.00 1,736,263.70 25,000.00 1,253,500.00 344,883.00 255,325.86 34,178.01 30,000,000.00

102,848.00 39,000.00 503,076.00

562,565.00 25,000.00

14,800.00 21,935.00 64,400.00 670,622.70 1,253,500.00 344,883.00

255,325.86 7,138,085.86 3,641,934.88 34,178.01 19,476,539.26

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It is projected that by December 2008, a total of Php 30,000,000.00 would have been obligated to finance the major project components. Capital outlay would be at Php1,161,351,52 (3.87%) and MOOE is at Php 28,838,648.48 (96.13%). Total cash/cheque disbursements would be at Php 23,577,585.28 while Accounts Payable for 2009 will be at Php 6,422,414.72.

OTHER PROJECT ADVOCACY ACTIVITIES UNESCO ICT in Education Innovation Awards 2007-2008 Last November 2007, the Project Team submitted eSkwela materials to UNESCO’s call for entries to the ICT in Education Innovation Awards 2007-2008. In February 2008, CICT got word from UNESCOBangkok that the project will be given a Certificate of Commendation in the Non-Formal Educator Category, along with two (2) other Filipino recipients in the Educator Planner Category. The certificate was awarded during UNESCO’s Conference on Innovative ICT in Education Practices last June 2008. A copy of the certificate is attached. AEF Conference Mr. Avelino Mejia represented the eSkwela Project Team during the AEF Conference held in Cebu City (Nov. 19-20). He gave a short assessment of the project, including the various success stories and birth pains that the project team experienced during the pilot implementation. He also showed some clippings and feedback from the learners and teachers of the four (4) pilot sites. The AEF Board of Directors was greatly impressed with the project's progress - stating that AEF would be open to supporting eSkwela's efforts in the future. The eSkwela – eGov Fund 2006 sponsored a site visit to eSkwela-Cebu and a special dinner for AEF and the conference delegates. Chairman Chua attended the event.

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PGMA’s Serbisyo Muna Caravan The eSkwela Project was one of the projects featured when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo went around the different barangays in Quezon City, promoting the various government projects and services that would benefit local constituents. In the process, the project was able to get the necessary backing to get noticed. Various project presentations conducted The eSkwela Project has been presented in various fora and conferences, namely: • • • • • • • • • • • ASEAN Seminar on eLearning 2005 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Emerging Technologies in the Philippines 2020 (Manila, Philippines) Mindanao ICT Congress 2006 (Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines) 5th National eLearning Conference (Manila, Philipines) International Conference on AEF Activities 2006 (Cancun, Mexico) & 2007 (Cebu, Philippines) and the International Conference on AEF-Funded Projects 2008 (Lima, Peru). 3rd National Conference on Open & Distance Learning (Manila, Philippines) 1st National Alternative Learning System Summit (Baguio City, Philippines) Asia Policy Forum on ICT Integration in Education (Manila, Philippines) 9th Round of the APEC eLearning Training Program (Busan, South Korea) eLearning Development and Implementation Training Course of InWEnt 2008 (Manila, Philippines) HCDG likewise reported on the progress of the eSkwela Project to the DFA-OUIER, as AEF’s local counterpart last June 2006

It was also presented as part of CICT-HCDG’s ICT4E Program during the following events: • • • • • • ICT Roadmap 2006-2010 (Manila, Philippines) National Training Programme for Teacher Educators on ICT in Social Development (Jakarta, Indonesia) Intel’s Choices and Opportunities II: A Regional Conference on Open Source Software (Hanoi, Vietnam) PSUCCESS’ National Conference on eLearning Models: Strategies and Challenges (Manila, Philippines) various teacher training programs conducted by CICT-HCDG (Philippines) It was also presented as one of CICT’s flagship projects on ICT Capability Building Initiatives in a Rural Setting during the APEC TELSOM on March 2008 (Tokyo, Japan).

The project also had a booth in the following events: • • • • • E-Net Conference 2007 4th PhilCeCNet Knowledge Exchange 2007 iSchools Congress 2008 Independence Day celebrations 2008 (Luneta and Baguio, Philippines) KABISIG 2008 (MOA, Manila)

The official eSkwela website is still http://eskwela.wikispaces.com, pending the design and development of the eSkwela Portal. The wikispace has provided project stakeholders a venue to get project updates, reference materials, and interact with other stakeholders online. It also lists down the various news articles and TV spots that featured the eSkwela Project.

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