MAIN PHOTO: (From left) REX Education Chief External Affairs Officer Danda Crimelda Buhain; CHED Executive Director IV, Atty. Cinderella Filipina Benitez-Jaro/ CHED Chairperson J. Prospero de Vera III, DPA, Rex Education Chairman Atty. Dominador Buhain; REX Education CEO Don Timothy Buhain; and CHED TWG on Flexible Learning member, Edizon Fermin, Ph.D., during the contract signing for Gawad Edukampyon Awards.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Rex Education collaborated recently and launched the very first Gawad Edukampyon Awards.
The collaboration aims to recognize the efforts and resilience of the country’s higher education institutions or HEIs and how they were able to rise and persevere despite the challenges poised by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This inaugural award is an effort to celebrate the achievements and innovations introduced by HEIs in the fields of Teaching and Learning, Research, and Public Service and Community Engagement.
With the challenges presented by the new normal, Gawad Edukampyon is creating an arena where different universities, colleges, teacher-training schools, and professional schools can share their experiences and best practices to create, refine, and implement innovative programs that could lead to a “better” normal for education.
The Gawad Edukampyon awards was launched recently through a Facebook live event that streamed on Rex Education and CHED’s social media pages.
The event was graced by CHED Chairperson, J. Prospero De Vera III, DPA and Rex Education Chairman, Atty. Dominador Buhain. Also present were Rex CEO, Don Timothy Buhain; CHED Executive Director IV, Atty. Cinderella Filipina Benitez-Jaro; CHED International Affairs Director and Deputy Executive Director IV, Atty. Lily Freida Macabangun-Milla, CESO IV; Rex Chief External Affairs Officer, Danda Crimelda Buhain and CHED TWG on Flexible Learning member, Edizon Fermin, PhD.
The ceremonial signing of the statement of cooperation, indicating the formalization and official launch of the call for entries for the awards highlighted the launch.
Championing the Filipino learner
Gawad Edukampyon is deeply rooted in both Rex Education and CHED’s ongoing advocacies directed at uplifting the Filipino learner.
Rex Education’s advocacy and core philosophy, Edukampyon, is about empowering the whole community where all of us are duty bearers who have an obligation to recognize, respect, protect, and fulfill the right of every learner to good, quality education. This advocacy has been the guiding principle of Rex throughout the years, dedicated to grooming a Filipino whole learners who is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, challenged, and values-oriented.
“With Gawad Edukampyon, we hope to celebrate the adaptiveness, innovativeness, and resilience of every higher learning institution, who have been our heroes of education, especially during the most difficult times. We also want to honor the dedication and cooperation of every person, every community, every school, and every organization, moving together for a single cause. We saw different heroes of education rise as we try to put together the winning formula that can create a ‘better normal’ for our learners. We want to spread these stories of hope, through this program, to inspire all,” said Don Timothy Buhain, Rex Education CEO, during the launch.
Gawad Edukampyon is also tied to CHED’s own Bayanihan efforts, which aims to help and guide students, teachers, learning institutions, and the whole education sector to discover solutions that would help us win in the new normal.
“The commission recognizes that the conduct of this activity will strengthen the flexible learning approaches of our HEIs. Through this collaboration, we hope to ensure and inspire all education stakeholders, policymakers, administrators, educators, learners, and the general public by examining and celebrating the response, relief, and recovery efforts in high education, through which a more adaptive, innovative, and resilience Philippine higher education system shall emerge,” said CHED Chairperson De Vera.
The award categories are Gawad Edukampyon for Excellence in Flexible and Responsive Management, Gawad Edukampyon for Excellence in Flexible Teaching and Learning Innovation, Gawad Edukampyon for Responsive Research and Development, and the Gawad Edukampyon for Public Service and Community Engagement.
The finalists and winners will be selected through a very rigorous screening process and will be featured Philippine Flexible Learning summit on October 5-7, 2021 in observance of World Teacher’s Day. The narratives of the winners will also be featured in the book Padayon, which will be published by Rex Education, and will be uploaded in the Philippines CHED Connect Open Education Resource Hub.