As the government shifts to distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Knowledge Channel is ready to share its video lessons that could reach as many as 7.6 million students, a huge portion of the 27 million expected to enroll this school year.
“Knowledge Channel is prepared to work with the government. We have created and acquired more than a thousand video lessons, all based on the K-12 curriculum of the Department of Education and these are ready for use,” Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. (KCFI) director for operations Edric Calma said.
For 21 years, KCFI has developed and acquired multimedia educational materials that public schools nationwide, especially in remote regions used to enhance teaching and learning. They are aired over Knowledge Channel and used for instruction by KCFI-trained teachers and are also designed for home-based learning. Before ABS-CBN went off the air on May 5, Knowledge Channel aired over SKYcable, SKYdirect, ABS-CBN TVplus, and other cable and direct to home satellite TV providers, reaching millions of students.
According to Calma, KCFI has developed into video format 50% of the most essential learning competencies (MELC) that DepEd requires to be taught for the school year, and that KCFI can easily develop the remaining 50%.
Knowledge Channel’s method of using TV technology has proven to improve the performance of children in school. Studies conducted by the DLSU La Sallian Institute for Development and Educational Research and the UP Statistical Center for Research Foundation's Impact Study for Proficient Measures for Quality Education revealed that children who were taught using Knowledge Channel video lessons performed better in tests.
“The most essential learning competencies are the minimum curriculum-prescribed skills that students must acquire,” Calma said.
Calma stressed that the 21st century DepEd curriculum is about understanding and creating designs, systems and processes, unlike in the past when students were just required to memorize.
“Subjects like mathematics and the sciences involve understanding of processes, and they need to be visually illustrated for kids to understand,” he said, adding “with this kind of curriculum, we need TV.”
Calma said that Knowledge Channel’s multimedia resources also teach kids critical thinking. “Children’s critical thinking and creativity are triggered by video lessons because we challenge them with questions at the beginning, halfway through and at the end of the episode,” Calma said.
Alice Panares, who sits in the board of the National Council for Children's Television, said that the government is faced with the near-impossible task of training a 900,000-strong teaching workforce to teach students using media before the August opening of classes.
To address this problem, Panares suggested that Knowledge Channel be tapped at the very onset of the distance learning program.
“While the teachers are being trained, why not tap first the lessons of Knowledge Channel since it already has existing materials,” Panares said, adding that “Knowledge Channel has done a very complete work in educating the students in different areas.”
Panares said that Knowledge Channel is ready with the different subjects that are already in the form of TV lessons made for different grade levels. “I’ve watched many of the lessons and they are ready for airing for the DepEd,” she said.
KCFI president and executive director Rina Lopez Bautista appealed that KCFI be given the chance to share with the government its expertise for the sake of the children.
Lopez Bautista said, “We believe that learning must continue for all and that no child should be left behind. We appeal to our lawmakers and the Filipino people to recognize ABS-CBN’s contributions to education and that ABS-CBN is granted a new franchise so that we can again reach the children no matter where they are in the Philippines. The Knowledge Channel Foundation continues, and will be working to continue to be in the service of Filipino children.”