To facilitate basic education in remote and underserved communities and instill the importance of wildlife conservation among schoolchildren, USAID, through its Protect Wildlife project, partnered with Smart Communications for the latter’s School-in-a-Bag initiative. USAID and Smart Communications co-financed the production of 20 portable digital classroom kits that Protect Wildlife delivered to schools located in project sites in Palawan, Zamboanga City, Southern Mindanao and Central Luzon.
Each School-in-a-Bag kit contains learning equipment and digital and printed educational materials developed by Smart Communications and the Department of Education for learners and teachers. The project added a toolbox of resources called Kuwentong Kalikasan (Stories from Nature) to help teachers from Grades 3 to 5 to supplement lessons that can cut across Science, Filipino, Social Studies and Reading, as well as lessons for school-based environmental clubs. The project curated storybooks and developed flashcards for inclusion in the School-in-a-Bag kits to promote wildlife conservation among young learners.
The storybooks feature Philippine endemic species to introduce students to the beauty of local wildlife and develop empathy and compassion toward wildlife and the environment. Teachers can use the storybooks alone or develop a simple lesson plan highlighting insights from the stories. The flashcards will help students recognize different endangered Philippine wildlife, such as the Philippine eagle, Palawan pangolin, tamaraw, Sulu hornbill, and hawksbill turtle, among others. Coloring sheets and comprehension worksheets are added to the School-in-a-Bag kit as teaching aids.
Protect Wildlife also created a guide for teachers to help them make the best use of the learning materials and how to incorporate them into their existing lesson plans. (PWP/ May Anne Ramos)