On May 24, 2021, the Ateneo de Manila University formally introduced its newest Loyola school, the Gokongwei Brothers School of Education and Learning Design (GBSEALD), to its school community.
Established to elevate education and drive learning innovation in the country, the school partnership had been in the pipeline since 2019, according to Grace Colet, Executive Director of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF).
“So much has happened in the period between. There were changes of leadership in both organizations and drastic shifts in our educational landscape,” she says. “We are excited for this partnership as it comes at such a crucial time, right when our country needs more contributors to help solve the mounting challenges Philippine education faces today.”
To help administer educational reform, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), literacy, critical thinking, and Catholic education, GBSEALD has identified three strategic goals.
Capacity building will focus on giving educators access to high-quality education and training and strengthening partnerships with selected Teacher Education Institutes.
To help inform and improve decisions surrounding educational policies and systems, on the other hand, knowledge building through high-impact research will be initiated.
Considerable effort will also be directed towards influence/network building to create strategic partnerships with other educational institutions here and abroad, government agencies and like-minded organizations in promoting Philippine educational reform.
“The school promises not only to raise the quality of Philippine education by upskilling teachers and upgrading content and pedagogy in a digital world,” says Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin SJ, former President of the University under whose leadership the school partnership had first been discussed. “It will also be busy working with others to upscale the lessons we have learned and remove the systemic and leadership burdens that have bedeviled us for decades.”
Under GBSEALD, a special leadership center named the Lily Gokongwei Ngochua Leadership Academy will also offer effective and relevant leadership development programs to principals and other educational leaders, especially in public education.
GBF General Manager Lisa Y. Gokongwei-Cheng says strengthening the educational stakeholders' capability to drive and deliver quality education is one of the foundation’s mandates.
“Through the Lily Gokongwei Ngochua Leadership Academy’s various capacity-building programs, the foundation will be able to help more educators, particularly those in the public sector as well as in far-flung areas who may have limited resources, get better access to quality education,” she says.
The school is supported by the GBF Endowment for Educational Innovation and is part of the organization’s long-term plans to uplift STEM education in the country. Through these efforts, GBF hopes to pave the way for sustainable national development