CLARK FREEPORT – At least two international recognitions were recently garnered by the Mabalacat City College (MCC) located in nearby Barangay Dolores, Mabalacat City in the midst of the raging pandemic.
This was gleaned during the “Balitaan” media forum organized by the Capampangan in Media, Inc. (CAMI) in cooperation with the Clark Development Corp. via Zoom last Thursday.
MCC president Dr. Michelle Aguilar-Ong said the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMECO) based in Thailand and the UK-based Times Higher Education Asia Awards 2021 recognized their innovative interventions in coping with the new normal of education.
Ong said the MCC was cited for pioneering what is considered as the first among all local colleges and universities in the Philippines the creation of Barangay Digital Hubs in support of the online learning system.
Digi Hub is a way of helping their 3,200 students cope with blended learning which refers to “a learning delivery that combines any or a mix of modular distance learning, online distance learning, and television/radio-based Instruction.”
Blended or flexible learning, as recommended by the Department of Education (DepEd) will enable the schools to limit face-to-face learning, ensure social distancing, and decrease the volume of people outside the home at any given time.
Ong said this novel digital learning space or digi hub was conceptualized in April 2020 by the MCC management and executive committees in response to the call for online education set up, necessitated by the safety and health risks of the COVID pandemic.
All Digi Hubs—located in key areas based on the residences of MCC students in need of online support–are equipped with Wi-Fi and desktops for use in transitioning from face-to-face education to the flexible learning delivery.
Approved on May 4, the digital hubs were installed in nine critical Mabalacat barangays.
The MCC-pioneered transition project, known as “MCC FLEX” was then submitted to the Association of Local Colleges and Universities last July 2020. The plan has since been adapted as an online support model by other schools in barangays nationwide.
It was also learned that the MCC has a Tablet Loan program available from its Library where android tablets can be taken home or used in designated digi hubs. These initiatives, unprecedented in their innovation, are part of MCC’s commitment to provide equitable education to the community it serves, Ong said.
Each digi hub is equipped with wifi connection, computers and tablets. Every hub has an assigned custodian who also doubles as technician to provide assistance if needed, she added.
She said at 7:30 in the morning, MCC service vehicle drops them off to their assigned hubs which have temperature scanner, automatic alcohol dispenser and foot bath for safety measure against Covid.
The MCC was established during the administration of former Mabalacat Mayor Marino P. Morales and was formally opened in September, 2008.