Professor Ardniel Baladjay, PhD of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) says he has always been on the lookout for innovative and updated ways of teaching, beyond the usual lecture-discussion structure.
With government directives in place to avoid the spread of coronavirus, Dr. Baladjay is relieved that he was able to introduce his students to the eLearning Program for Agriculture and Fisheries by the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) even prior to the lockdown.
As a full-time faculty of the Department of Agricultural Extension - College of Agriculture, Dr. Baladjay shares how the different concepts, philosophies, principles and trends in the said online facility are adapted for Philippine setting and all extremely useful during the ongoing crisis.
“The e-learning platform of DA-ATI helps keep our days intellectually productive and empowers us with agricultural knowledge at a time when food security, aside from health, is also a concern,” the teacher for over two decades shares.
USM student Novelito B. Ybañez attests to how the e-Learning Program helps him stay productive. “We’re able to enhance our knowledge in different farming practices, especially agriculture and fisheries, at a time when the country is so dependent on these to ensure there’s enough food to get by,” the college sophomore explains.
Dr. Baladjay admits that there are challenges involved in facilitating classes over the internet, and that face-to-face interaction is still more efficient. His administrative tasks and functions as Extension Director of USM are also affected due to the need to work remotely.
However, he reminds everyone: “Look at challenges as opportunities to learn.” This is a principle that he hopes to impart to his students, especially when it comes to helping people in need.
“It helps to be excited and enthusiastic to learn more every day, and to reflect on the good that we can do not only for ourselves but for others in our community,” Dr. Baladjay says.
*To learn more about DA-ATI’s e-learning, visit www.e-extension.gov.ph/e-learning
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