Name of the Organization

Southern Leyte State University

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Journal Production and Management Office (JPMO)

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Human Resource, Operations, Management and Perspectives on Productivity and Quality

Date the best practice was first implemented

12 September 2016 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

The Journal Production and Management Office (JPMO) of the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) has been helping faculty and researchers get additional mileage for their research projects by providing support and publishing ASEAN Citation Index (ACI) Referred Journals.

SLSU’s JPMO has been instrumental in the promotion of faculty members and accreditation of published authors as full-fledged professors, availment of publication incentives, elevated the journals’ reputation and quality, enhanced the capabilities of faculty members and staff to publish research, and contributed to the increase in the annual organizational budget based on the existing normative financing scheme. To achieve these objectives, the JPMO undertook practices and activities in the management of its two journals – the Journal of Educational and Human Resource Development (JEHRD) and the Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology (JSET) – which include the following:

  • Submission of the journals to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for the Journal Incentive Program (JIP) recognition and accreditation.
  • Submission of the journals to the ASEAN Citation Index (ACI) in Thailand for accreditation and recognition.
  • Conduct weekly journal mentoring webinars free of charge for all authors from various agencies, including international universities.
  • Organized and conducted training on journal typesetting using LATEX Openware to increase the capability of SLSU’s journal typesetters. Part of the training also included operations on the online journal system. This training series also attracted the attention of other state universities that turned to SLSU for assistance in journal management.
  • Provided free consultancy services and served as resource persons on journal management. SLSU’s JPMO provided free consultancy services in response to requests from various state universities who came to SLSU for assistance and advice.

From 2016 up to the present, SLSU’s JPMO assisted the Bukidnon State University, Biliran Province State University (formerly Naval State University), University of Northern Philippines, Surigao del Sur State University, Surigao State College of Technology, Palompon Institute of Technology (PIT), Northwest Samar State University, and Leyte Normal University. SLSU has also sponsored training and writeshops on publishing high-quality journal papers.

The Challenge

Research and its publication in scientific journals is imperative in state universities. From 2013 to 2015, SLSU struggled to produce a scientific journal that would cater to high-quality research from SLSU and other agencies. To improve its status in journal publication and obtain financing to enhance journal production operations, the SLSU Journal Management Team hurdled the rigorous and highly competitive CHED evaluation for scientific journals based on the guidelines in CHED Memorandum Order No. 53, s. 2016, which governs the evaluation of research journals in the Philippines for the CHED Journal Challenge category and the Journal Incentive Program (CHED-JIP). SLSU consequently passed the screening for the CHED-JIP, and it’s two (2) journals — JEHRD and JSET — became part of the handful of journals in the Philippines that CHED recognized. The Journal Office of SLSU also received the CHED grant of Php 400,000 per journal per year from 2017 to 2019, owing to its status as a CHED-JIP recipient.

After this phase, the Journal Production and Management Office was faced with another challenge: how to raise the status of JEHRD and JSET to become internationally peer-reviewed journals, as its CHED-JIP accreditation only provided the two journals’ national coverage. Moreover, when the CHED-JIP program ended, the JPMO would have to look for other sources of funds to continue its journal operations. To overcome these challenges, the JPMO subjected JEHRD and JSET for evaluation to be accredited by the ASEAN Citation Index (ACI) based in Thailand. Like its earlier case with the CHED-JIP accreditation, SLSU’s JSET and JEHRD again successfully passed the evaluation to become an ACI-indexed journal, enabling it to become an international peer-reviewed journal. Due to its new status as an international journal, the JPMO had to implement strategies and practices to sustain the traction gained by JEHRD and JSET. From 2016 up to the present, several papers have been published in the SLSU journals. This then led to the series of best practices implemented by the JPMO.

Solution and Impact

The JPMO has ensured that the composition of the Editorial Boards of the two journals have sterling qualifications. The office has also recruited only qualified referees for the papers. The office has established an interim policy: the number of papers published every year should mostly come from outside the university to establish greater journal reach. To attain this, the office has ensured that the papers published by SLSU should be at most 50% of the total published papers yearly. Moreover, we have been aggressive in promoting and marketing our journals through the university’s website,


The JPMO has adopted the LATEX typesetting openware. This is to achieve consistency in terms of the appearance of each journal paper. Capability-building activities for the journal staff have been conducted. In addition, the office has adopted the open-source online journal system (OJS), the PKP. This journal provides immediate access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Recently, we have undertaken initiatives to migrate the existing journal’s website – to the University’s official website. This is to attain a greater reach of our journals and to attain wider visibility and higher webmetrics ranking of the University.

Performance and Results

In terms of human resource development, the accreditation and recognition of the journals in the ACI have contributed so much to the promotion of faculty members of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs)across the country. Faculty members whose research outputs are published in JSET and JEHRD are given international credits. Consequently, a number of SLSU faculty members have attained the Full Professor ranks during the NBC 461 evaluation. These faculty members also have qualified and passed for the accreditation of full-fledged professors since they have papers published in the SLSU’s ACI journals. For instance, during the NBC 461 Cycle 8 evaluation (covering 2016-2019), 19 SLSU faculty members qualified for full professor ranks. This excludes the existing 19 SLSU professors who have been awarded full professor ranks during the 7th cycle evaluation covering 2013-2016.

The SLSU Journal Management Team was adjudged the regional winner by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) during the 2019 Search for Outstanding Government Workers. The CSC – HAP (Honors and Awards Program) garnered by the SLSU’s journal management team clearly manifests its impactful contribution to society as a whole.

In terms of the research budget of the University, the increasing number of published papers of the faculty members has contributed to the increase in the Research MOOE budget from 2017 to 2021. Based on the National Expenditure Program (NEP 2017-2022), SLSU’s research budget has continuously increased, except from 2021 to 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Testimonials from faculty researchers outside of the SLSU have reached our office, and the concerned faculty members could vouch for the positive impacts that their paper publications have brought to their professional lives.

The journals of already gained a number of citations based on the Google Scholar database. The impact factor of the journals has been increasing during the last two years.


The best practices in journal management of SLSU has been benchmarked by several SUCs who have either visited the SLSU campus or requested mentoring and assistance from the JPMO staff. Among those benchmarked and consulted SLSU were: Bukidnon State University, Surigao del Sur StateUniversity, Surigao City State College, Polytechnique University of the Philippines, Palompon Institute ofTechnology, and Biliran Province State University.

Next Steps

The Strategic Plan of the University has been identified as one of the milestones for achievement in 2023-2024. It is the inclusion of the SLSU journals JSET and JEHRD in the Emerging Science CitationIndex (ESCI) of the Clarivate Analytics or Web of Science indexing.

Moreover, SLSU is spearheading the Consortium of Philippine Higher Education Institutions JournalPublications (PhilJournals) or formerly the Visayas-Mindanao Consortium for Journal Publications, Inc. SLSU serves as the secretariat of the consortium. The consortium advocates for the sustained publication and accreditation of reputable journals in the Philippines. All activities of the SLSU-JPMO are also anchored on the goals and objectives of the consortium; hence, its sustained publication is assured.


Since becoming an internationally peer-reviewed journal, JEHRD and JSET have progressed to achieving the following:

  • Became the only two CHED-Journal Incentive (JIP) recognized journals in Region 8
  • Became the only ACI-indexed journal coming from Region 8
  • Among the first scientific journal publications in Region 8 to employ LATEX typesetting as the standard for creating the typeset of published papers
  • Among the first scientific journal publications in Region 8 to utilize the Online Journal System, which provides Google Scholar visibility to published articles
  • Widened the scope of JEHRD and JSET by publishing articles from Ethiopia, India, Vietnam, Nigeria, Belgium, Iraq, Thailand, Nepal, and Australia, subject to the results of the peer-review process and decision of the Editorial Board
  • Gained an international editorial board composition for the two journals

The SLSU Journal Management Team was the recipient of the Regional Civil Service PAG-ASA award in 2019.

Name of the Organization

Department of Science and Technology – Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII)

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Information Resources and Analysis Division – STARBOOKS Unit

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Digitization and New Technologies

Date the best practice was first implemented

24 June 2011 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

An innovative library-in-a-box developed by the Department of Science and Technology – Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII) is bringing science and technology (S&T) information and knowledge resources closer to marginalized communities.

The Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated KioskS (STARBOOKS) is a stand-alone information source that provides Science, Technology, and Innovation-based content to students, teachers, and other relevant stakeholders. STARBOOKS contributes to the Institute’s primary mandate of establishing a science and technology databank and library and disseminating science and technology information.

The program team upgraded the content of its online portal to mirror its original offline content. In particular, the addition of K-12 learning modules that correspond to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the inclusion of STARBOOKS content to the DepEd Learning Commons tremendously benefited teachers and students struggling with the demands of remote learning.

The availability of STARBOOKS on offline, online, and mobile platforms opens more opportunities for users to access S&T resources at hand.

The Challenge

When STARBOOKS was created in 2011, a United Nations-funded survey was conducted, which later revealed the need for such a project. Results showed that only 26 percent of public schools throughout the Philippines had access to the Internet due to poverty or geographical location.

Moreover, 95 percent of these public schools have no functional libraries, disenfranchising a great number of students from resource-challenged schools. As if by design, STARBOOKS was able to fill a wide gap in the educational deficiencies with its concept of being a “library-in-a-box” that can be easily transported anywhere and used without an Internet connection. The entire STARBOOKS system is offered free of charge to requesting institutions, including its installation, training/orientation, and technical support. DOST-STII provides updating services as well.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, the education landscape was adversely affected, forced to implement drastic learning delivery measures such as virtual classes and modular learning. Yet through all the COVID restrictions and Internet connectivity problems, the education sector was able to pivot to the new demands of the times. Even before the pandemic, DOST-STII already saw the need for online platforms to complement the offline mode of STARBOOKS. Thus, STARBOOKS leveled up as an offline resource platform and onsite digital library and is now a reliable go-to online knowledge source available in the platform of the user’s choice.

Solution and Impact

STARBOOKS was conceptualized in 2011 through the joint efforts of DOST-STII’s library and IT groups. With no provisions for budgetary support, the system was originally developed in-house by its programmers. As demand grew over time, DOST-STII partnered with DOST Regional Offices to deploy and install STARBOOKS kiosks, especially outside Metro Manila. This eventually became an integral part of the scope of extension activities among DOST regional offices as part of their S&T and technical advisory services. To date, STARBOOKS has been installed in 17 regions and 81 provinces across the country.

Before 2011, clients had no other option but to visit the DOST-STII library for their study and research needs. Today, through STARBOOKS, users can avail of free library resources by choosing the platform (i.e., offline, online, or mobile) that suits their needs.

Three STARBOOKS mobile apps were also developed in response to the needs of its users:

  • STARBOOKS App, which makes its content more accessible to on-the-go users.
  • STARBOOKS Whiz App, which gamifies the process of learning science and mathematics through an interactive game format; and
  • STARBOOKS Geomap, which maps the actual location of STARBOOKS sites for greater convenience in locating the nearest STARBOOKS site in the users’ area.

Since its launch in 2011, it has become highly sought after by students and school officials in geographically-isolated, economically-challenged schools and communities with limited or zero Internet connectivity. As a result, STARBOOKS has served as an effective agent in helping marginalized communities access S&T resources and educational advancement, disaster readiness, and even entrepreneurial opportunities. Tagged as the country’s first S&T digital library, STARBOOKS is now installed in 5,877 sites and growing.

Meanwhile, as piecemeal improvements were carried out on the STARBOOKS portal, there was a noticeable shift in user preference from the offline to the online platform. As indicated in its system utilization report for 2019, only 3,364 new registered users and 8,590 materials were accessed, suggesting that it was used primarily for monitoring and report submission. In the following years, however, a spike in the number of newly registered users and materials accessed was recorded (21,724 new registered users and 607,896 materials accessed in 2021). Integrating K-12 materials to STARBOOKS online contributed to users’ increased visits, especially during the pandemic. Moreover, linking the STARBOOKS website to the DepEd Commons contributed significantly to the increase in newly registered users, such as students and teachers, now using the platform to access its wealth of education and knowledge resources.

Moreover, many organizations, such as academic institutions, libraries, and local government units that plan to establish their digital learning hubs, have visited DOST-STII to observe and benchmark the STARBOOKS Kiosks and their setup.

The STARBOOKS team believes in the power of partnerships as a force multiplier, so it consciously pursues collaborative activities with its partners while forging new partnering endeavors to expand the scope and reach of their engagement through content buildup, deployment assistance, sponsorships, and promotional services. Its landmark partnership was a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed in February 2020 between DepEd and DOST.

Under this MOA, STARBOOKS content shall initially be preloaded to learning devices deployed to priority public learning institutions through the DepEd Computerization Program. The education department shall also include its STEM content in its online learning commons, making it available especially to public school teachers.

For 2022, DOST-STII has forged a total of five new partnerships through the STARBOOKS platform with public and private institutions, among which include:

  1. ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. through Programa Genio, which will install STARBOOKS in their sponsored beneficiary schools;
  2. DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), which will make STARBOOKS accessible through their LokaLTE and RuralCasting technologies in areas not covered and serviced by local telcos and internet providers; and
  3. Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), which will provide solar-powered STARBOOKS to the most economically hit, geographically isolated schools in Palawan and Mindanao.

The STARBOOKS team sees itself continuing to collaborate with a broad mix of private and public institutions that share a common advocacy to uplift the status of Filipino students. STARBOOKS has linked with 34 partners since 2017, with more than Php 11 million in sponsorship funding received.

As the demand for information and service delivery continually evolves in numbers and complexity, the team is likewise committed to constantly improving the system performance and content development of STARBOOKS guided by the user feedback generated in its reporting facility for both offline and online platforms.


STARBOOKS was awarded the 2015 Presidential Citation for Innovative International Projects of the American Library Association (ALA) in ceremonies held in San Francisco, California. The citation noted “its innovative use of ICT in bringing stand-alone, offline terminals preloaded with STEM content serving as alternative digital libraries in economically challenged communities.”

In 2017, STARBOOKS received Gold and Silver Anvils at the 52nd Anvil Awards Night. It bagged the GoldAnvil for Public Relations Program: Directed at Specific Stakeholders, Students, Entrepreneurs, LGUs, Communities and Indigenous People, and the Silver Anvil Award for Public Relations Program: Directed at Specific Stakeholders, Students, Entrepreneurs, LGUs, Communities, and Indigenous People.

Also, in 2017, STARBOOKS was cited as a Finalist in the Government Best Practice Recognition of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

STARBOOKS was honored with a special award from the Presidential Communications Operations Office for its inclusion of important content and the latest updates on the Freedom of Information Act on the occasion of the 2019 Freedom of Information Summit.

In 2021, STARBOOKS was cited for Excellence in Government Communication Programs in the 18th Philippine Quill Awards for its impact in bringing knowledge on science, mathematics, and technical fields directly to the people.

Meanwhile, STARBOOKS has been part of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) National Priority Plan (NPP) since 2017 and generated more than Php 12.7 million worth of donations for the private sector in six years. According to NEDA, STARBOOKS is deemed to be aligned with the zero to ten-point socio-economic agenda of strengthening basic education and promoting a science and technology culture and supporting the long-term vision of raising awareness and promoting a science culture.

In 2022, STARBOOKS was named a regional winner of the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award in the 2022 Search for Outstanding Government Workers of the Civil Service Commission, thereby earning a berth in the national finals.


Before the pandemic struck, DOST-STII organized STARBOOKS national conventions to serve as a venue for its partners and stakeholders to share their expertise and testimonies.

In one convention, Mr. Darren Honrado, a teacher at Patong Elementary School in Bgy. Mikit, municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental, expressed his profound thanks as the first-ever recipient of a STARBOOKS kiosk powered by solar cells in his area, which is accessible only on foot after a six-hour hike. In his own words, he said: “DOST did not just install STARBOOKS in our school; it also installed hope among the students of Patong.”

Dr. Victoria B. Roman Memorial High School (DVRMHS) in Pilar, Bataan, was installed with a STARBOOKS kiosk in 2014. The school principal stated that STARBOOKS has been used by students for their assignment, and projects. Jillyn May N. Lagos, a Grade 10 student of DVRMHS, personally attested that STARBOOKS helped her in essay writing contest.

The Commission on Audit has also commended STARBOOKS for providing equal access to S&T information to economically-disadvantaged, geographically-isolated schools in the country.

In celebration of its 11th year, STARBOOKS compiled the stories from different stakeholders dubbed as “1storya ng 1nspirasyon”. The stories narrate the tapestry of experiences from our regional deployment officers together with the uplifting testimonies of STARBOOKS beneficiaries throughout the archipelago.


Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa, Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy; Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; Operations

Year Implemented:

13 August 2020

This is a GBPR Entry


In response to the provisions of CMO No. 4 Series of 2020, supporting RA 7722 and RA 11469, Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa, Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology (DEBESMSCAT) came up with its mechanism of Flexible Learning (FL) Implementation and Management to adapt to the present educational needs of Masbatenyo students. The FL of DEBESMSCAT considered the varied needs of its continuing students and first-year students who cannot attend face-to-face classes due to the raging pandemic. It also considered the delivery of service of its personnel as mandated by the supervising and regulatory agencies and, more importantly, the adherence to the health protocols required by the IATF.

Background and Problem

Like any other educational institution in and out of the country, the pandemic threatened to hamper the delivery of higher and graduate education instruction of DEBESMSCAT. Therefore, the administration has to innovate or find novel ways to evade the worst scenario of suspending classes to avoid compromising the students’ future. The Masbatenyo students, like any other Filipinos, consider education as an avenue to lift their families economically; hence, finishing schooling is crucial to them. Banking on the practices of highly developed countries and the recommendation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), DEBESMSCAT had to embrace a significant change in its delivery of instruction through FL.

As of the moment, FL is the best and safest way to provide continuous or unhampered delivery of DEBESMSCAT’s instruction mandate to Masbatenyos during this time of pandemic and beyond. The need to shell out an amount from its budget and source financial assistance from granting agencies to implement an FL system is now of utmost consideration for DEBESMSCAT. The need to shell out an amount from its budget and source financial assistance from granting agencies to implement an FL system is now of utmost consideration for DEBESMSCAT. However, while DEBESMSCAT was able to take advantage of the modest budget spared by the government and is raring to go full steam, the need to look at the situation of the students and the community college serves as another important consideration.

Solution and Impact

The FL technology utilized by DEBESMSCAT using Macalde’s Webinar presentation dated 22 May 2020 is classified under the Medium Level Technology category. This category is characterized in terms of available devices, mainly consisting of mobile phones. Furthermore, the internet connection under this category is rated as slow (40 Mbps in DEBESMSCAT and 4G connections in selected towns of Masbate province), and the level of digital literacy of the students are primarily advanced, while the faculty and DEBESMSCAT employee’s level is classified as a mix of advanced and proficient. The learning approach is macro and microlearning, or a mix of online and offline activities. After a thorough analysis of the prevailing situation, DEBESMSCAT implemented a version of FL that it believes is tailored to the needs of its personnel, students, and stakeholders. This FL solution is anchored on the Theory of Change that encourages individuals to reflect on personal aims and plans, discuss them with others, and make them explicit. Using Noble’s (2019) work as a reference, DEBESMSCAT has already/is currently taking the following steps:

  1. Conduct of situation analysis to determine the affordances, predicaments, and needs of the students and the faculty and personnel of the institution;
  2. Identification of the target group of people in the organization who have the technological and pedagogical know-how in FL implementation;
  3. Determination of the outcomes of FL once the decision to implement it has been given;
  4. Determination of the possible impact of FL on the academic and personal activities of the students and the DEBESMSCAT personnel;
  5. Planning of activities for the pre-implementation and implementation stage;
  6. Consideration of change mechanisms that involved mind setting of faculty and personnel and the students on the good attributes and even the downsides of FL;
  7. Sequencing wherein the faculty, personnel, and students’ responses and activities related to FL implementation is recorded for analysis and decision making;
  8. Creation of the theory of change diagram for the institution;
  9. Identification of stakeholders and “enabling factors” for the continued implementation of FL; and
  10. Formulation of assumptions in terms of delivery and impact of the FL system.

As of this writing, DEBESMSCAT is currently in the sixth step. The succeeding steps could later provide learnings and experiences that could further improve the institution’s FL delivery. The institution sees the present mechanism it implemented as contributory to the ultimate goal of the Philippine government to stand once again and even stronger under its battle cry “We Heal as One.”

Milestones/Next Steps

Referring to the identified steps related to the Theory of Change, the DEBESMSCAT has already conducted, as the first milestone, a situation analysis that involved the determination of the category of the level of technology in the province of Masbate, which was found to be in the Medium Level Category. Upon determining the institution’s category, the administration tapped faculty members with experience in distance education and specialization in information technology. This was when the administration formed its LMS Project task force composed of a Team Leader and a coordinator from each of the six colleges and the graduate school. This was the second milestone of the FL program of the institution.

For the third milestone, possible outcomes were determined by the faculty based on the prescribed course outcomes and the college outcomes. The administration also supervised the relevance of the identified products to the institutional outcomes. This is to ensure that each level is working towards attaining the institutional results despite the major change that the pandemic brought to the delivery of the instruction mandate of DEBESMSCAT. The fourth milestone involved determining the possible impact of FL on the academic and personal activities of the students and the DEBESMSCAT personnel. In the series of meetings conducted by the administration, the academic and administrative councils, the dean, and department chairs, several issues such as access to ICT, unstable electric services, and the dire financial situation of the students, faculty, and student readiness to FL were raised.

For the fifth milestone, the LMS Coordinators were tasked to cascade the training to all faculty members. Concurrent to the conduct of the training is the completion of the crafting of course modules by each faculty that is designed to cover one month of lessons. These modules were immediately uploaded on the LMS, at the same time, printed for distribution to the students. The second milestone of the flexible learning program was reached after the successful distribution of printed modules to students who requested a copy due to poor internet connectivity and the successful interaction of the students with good internet connectivity to the DEBESMSCAT LMS. Per coordinator reports, some faculty were already able to conduct a course forum, give LMS-based assignments, and conduct LMS-based quizzes and other graded student activities. Alongside this milestone is the approval to implement the LMS Use Policy of DEBESMSCAT. More innovations are expected from the faculty and the students in the coming months and towards the end of the first semester.


Mariano Marcos State University

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy; Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management

Year Implemented


This is a GBPR entry


The Mariano Marcos State University Virtual Learning Environment (MVLE) aims to develop and innovate the university’s delivery of instructions to the students and introduce a new pedagogic model for learning and interaction with faculty and students. The Mariano Marcos State University developed MVLE as an institutional online learning management that allows the teachers to deliver online teaching and the students to acquire knowledge through online learning. Learner tools included in the MVLE are communication, productivity, and student involvement tools. Support tools consist of administrative, course delivery, and content development tools.

Background and Problem

The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) is a comprehensive institution of higher learning in the Ilocos region. Classroom discussion is the norm; thus, the learning setup at MMSU is mostly face-to-face. However, traditional classroom setup has been observed as insufficient for teachers to deliver their lessons, especially when classes are suspended due to holidays, school activities, calamities, and other interruptions. Therefore, some faculty members use the Internet to extend the classroom setting. Blogs, personal websites, chat, and email are some tools that faculty members use to address the student’s needs.

MMSU faculty members undertake a whole-day training for the MVLE

Solution and Impact

Surveys were initially conducted on the undergraduate faculty and students of the Batac campus, and respondents were randomly chosen through a stratified random sampling technique. The faculty population in each college was based on the list of faculties provided by the Human Resource and Management Office. Also, the Registrar’s office prepared the population of students in each college based on the enrolment reports.

Personal interviews through questionnaires and data analysis were conducted to determine the e-Readiness status of MMSU ICT in terms of its ICT infrastructure. The ICT infrastructure assessment rubric by Mokhtar, et al. (2007) was utilized. The researcher adopted the self-evaluation rubric developed by Mankato (Minnesota) Public Schools. This tool was designed to help staff understand their current skills level with computer technologies. The self-evaluation rubric considers 13 areas: Basic Computer Operation, File Management, Word Processing, Spreadsheet Use, Database Use, Graphics Use, Internet Use, Telecommunications Use (E-Mail), Ethical Use Understanding, Information Searching, Video Production, Presentation Skills, and Technology Integration. The VLE functional requirement assessment tool designed by JISC Infonet (n.d.) was used to understand the VLE needs of both the students and faculty. A series of comparative studies were made using the currently available free software and open source VLEs. Below is the list of comparative studies that were undertaken:

  • Comparison between the VLE products based on functions
  • Comparison between the VLE products based on features and capabilities
  • Assessment of the requirements for the VLE for MMSU.

The design of VLE was based on different inputs and results of the assessment undertaken in this study. This includes assessing MMSU ICT e-Readiness regarding its existing ICT infrastructure and users’ ICT profile and reviewing the VLE functional requirements, components, features and capabilities, and open-source platforms. VLE will be a fantastic tool for learning, and it will also make content and learning materials readily available at home. Creating and managing VLE in the school environment can be challenging. First, the administrators, teachers, and students should understand that this will affect how they work, teach, and learn. It is also important to realize that implementation will take some time.

The overall assessment of the faculty ICT profile was marked intermediate. The MMSU faculty’s ICT profile status is inadequate to engage them in VLE. This implies that faculty members still have room to improve their ICT skills. The MMSU’s ICT readiness status is moderate. This means the University can implement VLE to support online learning.

Milestones/Next Steps

The university has continued to upgrade and sustain MVLE since its implementation in 2013. Its importance was highlighted during the COVID 19 pandemic as it was proven helpful in online teaching and learning delivery. MMSU continues to utilize the MVLE tool, and intensive training on its use should be given importance in light of the transition to a purely online mode of delivering education.


Bayanihan E-Skwela (Community Learning Hubs)


Office of the Vice President of the Philippines

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Citizens / Customers

Year Implemented

October 19, 2020 to Present


With the glaring limitations posed by the pandemic in the delivery of quality education, the Office of the Vice President (OVP), through its Bayanihan e-Skwela initiative, launched the OVP Community Learning Hubs (CLHs) in various parts of the country. A CLH is a learning facility that aims to provide learners with a safe and conducive space for learning; has the necessary tools, devices, and equipment; and has volunteer tutors who can guide them with their lessons. The hub is not intended as a substitute for formal education in schools but is meant to be supplementary to the current distance learning set-up.

Since its launch on 19 October 2020, the OVP has activated twenty-eight (28) CLH sites in various parts of the country, including the city of Pasig, the provinces of Rizal, Negros Occidental, Camarines Sur, Aklan, Quezon, Albay, Romblon, Isabela, Manila, Leyte, Antique, Iloilo, Cebu, Lanao Del Sur, and Sultan Kudarat.

Background and Problem

In order to prevent prolonged school disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced the Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) in May 2020, which identified multiple learning delivery modalities that are relevant in providing a safe and healthy learning environment for the learners and teachers. Following the announcement, the DepEd began laying the groundwork for a “blended learning” modality, which would make use of radio, television, online, and modular learning for the incoming school year, as an alternative to face-to-face learning amid the public health situation.

However, the sudden necessity of blended learning coupled with the nationwide economic distress brought about by the health crisis made it even harder for marginalized families to help their children catch up with their studies. Furthermore, learners’ development in reading, writing, math, and other major subjects were further stunted.

The challenges faced by learners from marginalized families who already struggle with their finances are magnified by blended learning; they do not have the necessary internet connectivity or gadgets for their lessons, they live in environments that are not conducive for learning, and they have parents or guardians who do not have the capability to provide adequate support them for their lessons due to illiteracy or their work’s demands.

Solution and Impact

The OVP recognized these problems and immediately convened a team to conceptualize possible areas of intervention to ensure that all students will be given quality education despite the difficult circumstances. Thus, the Bayanihan e-Skwela initiative was born, with one of its pillars being the establishment of CLHs nationwide.

Launch of the Community Learning Hub in Barangay Tabuco, Naga City

The OVP launched this project by first identifying potential pilot sites based on the following criteria: (1) the presence of a Civil Society Organization or Local Partner; (2) the LGU is interested in and cooperative with the project; and (3) the area is considered underprivileged and in need of support. Once a site was considered, a meeting was held with the local stakeholders, and steps were taken to start establishing the CLH, with defined roles among local partners.

Notably, in establishing a CLH in an area, stakeholders strived to meet these three key components:

  1. Beneficiary Insights. To know more about the families, needs assessment activities were conducted in select areas. Data was culled from surveys and available information from the local schools where the site is located. The LGUs also helped in identifying the priority beneficiaries based on a specific set of criteria.
  2. Volunteer Support. To support the implementation of the project, volunteers may be referred by the partner LGUs or from networks of the OVP coming from various sectors (women, youth, labor groups, etc.). The volunteers may come from the same barangay, or adjacent barangays where the hub is located.

Notably, In partnership with several non-profit organizations and enterprises with experience in the field of education, the OVP was able to train hundreds of volunteers. The training was done through:

  • Social Learning Units where learning modules can be answered asynchronously through the Facebook group platform.
  • Enrichment Sessions which are synchronous sessions facilitated via Zoom platform that aims to process all the knowledge the volunteers acquired from answering the social learning units.
  1. Site Identification. For an effective CLH, many considerations were taken. Notably, they must have been located in an area with a high concentration of learners, easily accessible to the learners, and conducive for learning.
Grade 1-6 students can use these personal computers for free

Significantly, most of the sites chosen were daycare centers, halls, and other venues that were underutilized since gatherings are not allowed in the new normal. Sites that required refurbishing were endorsed to possible local partners who could help cover the expenses for the renovation. The project thus became a culmination of efforts among the LGU, the community, and the private organizations in the area.

Milestones/Next Steps

As of writing, the Community Learning Hub has mobilized ₱28.5 million, launching 129 sites across 43 provinces and 91 cities/municipalities from October 2020 to June 2022, benefitting a total of 8,216 students.