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AHA! Eskwelang Pamilya: An Intevention Built for the Lockdown

I was part of the amazing team that pushed boundaries in order to continue education and support for at-risk children.

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I am a.....

  • Teacher

Tell us about your idea

Following the rise of the cases of COVID-19 in Metro Manila, private and public schools in all levels have been suspended and soon an enhanced community quarantine was put into place. For a lot of the students and their families in our communities of concentrated poverty, the lockdown has placed a lot of feelings of uncertainty and anxiety-- will I ever be prepared for the next school year? how can we adjust to this new normal? 

While many education interventions came about during this time, 

not many of them were accessible to the most vulnerable because of their lack of access to the internet.

AHA found out that Facebook Free was widely used- it was free. People could only see text, no pictures, no videos. So we built our intervention based on that.

AHA! Learning Center developed Eskwelang Pamilya, an education solution built for the lockdown.

Eskwelang Pamilya is a free text-based Facebook school for public school kids in the time of COVID-19. This project aims:

  1. To keep families informed and calm (to simply explain government initiatives); 

  2. To help further their reading and writing skills;

  3. To help kids adjust to the new normal; and

  4. To provide parents with a venue where they can air out their concerns and be in touch with medical professionals.

    Eskwelang Pamilya 

    Community Reach

    as of 12 May 2020, we have a total of 10,381 Eskwelang Pamilya enrollees from 71 cities

    • 485 students officially enrolled in core Eskwelang Pamilya from 21 public schools in Makati, Tondo, Rizal, and Quezon City

    • 9,896 enrollees from partner groups and organisations (NGOs, schools, LGU, and volunteers) from 71 cities from all over the Philippines.

    • This includes one partner with deaf beneficiaries, another partner that caters to terminally-ill teens  

      Everyday, kids and parents on lockdown, receive different lessons and sessions. AHA teachers lovingly prepare each content in Tagalog and in text form in the following topics:

      • Bata, may tanong ka ba sa COVID-19?

      • Wellness in times of COVID-19

      • Reading Short Stories (Adarna Books)

      • Creative Writing

      • Games

      • Daily Devotions

    • As well as provide storytelling sessions (live stream for those who can watch) and organize for free doctor consultations for the parents.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Doubting the abilities of marginalized children and their grit, persistence, integrity and motivation to be educated, to be inspired to dream big and to serve their community and country is something that should be left in the past. All children are capable of being successful, of thriving in their environments, of being innovators, and of being change makers. When given the chance, when they are not left behind, when they know there are people who are rooting for them and when they know they have a support system who will be there through the ups and downs, what comes to the surface are children who realize they want to dream big. There are mothers who realize they are capable of educating their children even with barely any education themselves. Parents start to see the resilience and potential of their children and start to value education. Communities start to dream big.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I am a part of this most amazing and inspiring team. I joined the team not too long before the lockdown in Manila happened. Through everything thrown our way, this team persisted. Day after day, they continue to inspire me to do as much as I can, to push through my own struggles because while they are valid, there are bigger things —- little people, that we need to think about. It has changed me as an educator and an individual. To find the light at the end of the never ending tunnel, to not give up. 

What region are you located in?

  • South-eastern Asia

Where are you located?

I live in Makati Metro Manila, but the communities we serve are children and families from public schools in Makati and Tondo. With Eskwela Pamilya, we have been able to directly and indirectly serve over 10,000 children and their families— something we only dreamt of when we initially started.


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