MANILA, PHILIPPINES — More than a year since the onset of the pandemic, private schools are looking towards the future. With the theme of “Reimagining Schools and Learning Beyond COVID-19,” the 2021 Philippine Education (PhilEd) Conference, set for December 1-4, will be the first time the biennial conference will be held entirely online.

Attended by thousands of educational leaders and practitioners across the country, the PhilEd Conference is one of the biggest gatherings for schools to learn about education priorities, policies, and programs. With this year’s virtual conference, the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) aims to empower schools to rise to the challenge of ensuring student learning continuity despite disruptive situations like the pandemic.

Aside from tackling problems and challenges faced by the sector, PEAC Executive Director Doris Ferrer explains that the event also aims to be hopeful, saying, “We want to show that some are actually able to thrive despite the pandemic. We want it to be a breath of fresh air.”

Drawing from global expertise

With this in mind, the event’s resource persons are led by the University of Minnesota’s distinguished McKnight University Professor Paul Glewwe, whose keynote lecture will be on “Education in Developing Countries: Policies and Programs that Affect Learning.” Duy Tan University’s Dr. Hang Le, meanwhile, will share her thoughts on “Transforming Higher Education in the Digital Era,” and how the education sector can continue to develop new and exciting ways to thrive in today’s digital world.

Responding to the 2015 findings of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is Dr. Charles Chew, Senior Lecturer at the National Institute of Education in Singapore and Principal Consultant at Marshall Cavendish Education Singapore. His talk, “Gleaning Insights from PISA 2015 for Powerful Learning and Teacher Professional Development,” can be very useful for administrators and teachers looking to make the most of the report’s findings on students’ science, reading, and mathematics achievements. Complementing his insights will be Jerome Lo, the Director of the Center for IT Services of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), who is set to explore the “Moderating Effects of ‘Blendedness’ in Teaching and Learning,” especially as schools continue to rely on blended learning methods in light of the pandemic.

Moreover, Professor Tan Eng Chye, an award-winning educator currently serving as the President of the National University of Singapore, will also share his insights on building “Resilient Schools and Students: Towards an Inspired Post-Pandemic Academic Community,” to help attendees get a glimpse of how educational institutions might thrive in the long run.

A new conference experience

On top of the exciting roster of speakers slated for the conference, another key aspect attendees can look forward to is the new online format of the 2021 PhilEd.

“One thing we did for the conference, which excites us, is testing how innovative and creative we can be,” explains Ferrer. “Because there is an event management platform, we are giving all those who registered 30 days’ access to all plenary and concurrent sessions.”

She points out that unlike in physical conferences, 2021 PhilEd participants can have access to learning resources and all plenary and concurrent sessions covered by their ticket until December 30, 2021. This allows participants to not just access any plenary or concurrent session they may have missed, but also to rewatch and review these sessions as many times as they like — letting them make the most of their tickets.

There are four types of tickets. RED Tickets, priced at PHP 2,100, allow participants to attend all plenary sessions and one concurrent session of their choice. WHITE Tickets, meanwhile, provide access to all plenary sessions and all concurrent sessions in one of three strands: Teaching and Learning, Standards and Competencies, and Future of Schools. These are priced at PHP 2,500. BLUE Tickets, which cost PHP 3,000, allow participants to attend all plenary sessions and all concurrent sessions in any two of the aforementioned strands, while ALL ACCESS Tickets, priced at PHP 3,500, grant participants access to all sessions of the conference.

Attendees may also enjoy online networking sessions every afternoon, allowing them to learn from each other’s experiences and best practices — wherever they may be.

The conference will also feature world-class performances from the UST SHS Galvanize; Maskara Ensemble of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod; University of the Visayas Choir; Saint Benilde Romancon Dance Company; DLSU-D Chorale; Company of Ateneo Dancers; ICA Dance Troupe; Saint Louis College Chorale; and School of Saint Anthony DANSSA.