In response to the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) directive that schools should adopt a “blended learning approach” for the school year, Mindszenty High School (MHS) is conducting training in the use of two virtual platforms: ZOOM and CISCO Webex.
Teachers from MHS, who used the platforms for remote learning during school closures in March, presented the two platforms during training at the 2020 Education Convention this past July, and are now in the process of training their own teachers and students.
MHS Principal JulitaTemael says that the school is planning to incorporate virtual classes weekly, as soon as the school receives the equipment.
At the Education Convention, President Tommy E. Remengesau stated that in preparation for another school closure, all teachers in Palauan schools, both public and private, would receive personal laptops, and all students would receive tablets. So far, public schools have this equipment, while private schools wait for theirs.
However, the Bureau of Education Administration says that the MOE and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) are currently collaborating to provide this equipment to private schools as well.
“Our high hopes are that we will receive this equipment soon,” said Principal Temael. “We have several teachers who are knowledgable in the virtual platforms, and we are training the rest of our teachers to use them, but we’re still waiting for the equipment so we can use this technology in the classroom.”
So far, Principal Temael says that two of her teachers, Mr. Norman Navero and Mr. Paul Cruz, are conducting training sessions for the rest of the teaching staff for use of ZOOM and CISCO Webex, according to teacher preference.
Mr. Norman Navero, who teaches math at MHS, said that he implemented CISCO Webex in his church, Iglesia Ni Cristo of Koror, in order to continue services while maintaining social-distancing. He said that it worked well, and decided to implement it in his classroom, requiring his students to install the app on their cellphones and computers or tablets at home. Recently, he has incorporated the app into his weekly teaching.
“Every Friday, I message my class that we’ll have a CISCO Webex online session, just to make sure that they are really hands-on with the app,” he said. He went on to say that he conducts a weekly 55-minute session with his students on the app, to make sure they don’t forget how to use it.
He said that the two platforms, which have distinctive features, are both good for conducting classes due to their ability to incorporate at least 50 participants in a video conference for at least 50 minutes, free of charge. Principal Temael also stressed the need for faster internet access for schools and for student homes should the need for remote learning arise, but also said that she trusted the government would see to it.
“If there is a positive COVID case in Palau and we have to go back to remote learning, I think our teachers and our students will be more than prepared, so long as we have the technology to back us up,” she said.

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