With the proclamation of the 18th of May as the National Higher Education Day (NHED) coherent with the the 27th Founding Anniversary of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Rizal Technological University (RTU) is one with CHED in the ongoing NHED celebration with the theme “Padyak! Moving Forward, Claiming Victory for Philippine Higher Education Pamantasan: Pandayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran”. The five-day well-planned observance of CHED’s founding anniversary and declaration of the National Higher Education Day intends to showcase the distinct best practices of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in coping with adverse situations brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic and sustaining excellence in institutional services and instruction delivery.

As one of the most anticipated activities in the week-long line-up in the University, “Gawad Sikhay 2021: RTU Search for Outstanding Institutional Flexible Learning Practices” kick-started “Padyak Pangkaalaman” on May 18 at 1:30 P.M through Zoom and Facebook Live. Gawad Sikhay 2021 led by the Curriculum and Instructional Resources Development Center (CIRDC), Marketing and Financial Management Office (MFMO), and Flexible Learning Solutions Committee (FLSC) in collaboration with Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA), Human Resources and Development Center-Commendation, Awards, and Recognition of Employees (HRDC-CARE) and all academic units recognized the relentless efforts of RTU faculty members and highlighted some of their best practices in institutional flexible learning platforms.

Gawad Sikhay 2021 presented three categories up for nomination: the Likha Award, Habi Award, and Daloy Award. Likha Award also known as Excellence in Online Course Development and Design is an exemplar of a developed and designed online course using the institutional platform applying RTU Outcomes-Based Teaching and Learning (OBTL) Framework. Out of five deserving nominees, Prof. John Eric Estrellado, College Secretary of the College of Business and Entrepreneurial Technology (CBET), bagged the Likha Award for his outstanding and creative course design and logical course development using the University’s official virtual learning environment, e-RTU.

“Maituturing ko po itong milestone sa aking propesyunal na paglago bilang isang guro,” Prof. Estrellado expressed his gratitude and surprise as he received the Likha Award.

The second category, Habi Award, is an exemplar of a developed physical or digital course learning packet for modular instruction using institutional preferences and format. Habi Award or the Excellence in Course Learning Packet Development was awarded to Prof. Joliver Lobo of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) for his substantial resources specifically the creation of his outstanding modules.

“Alam natin na patuloy na ginagampanan ng ating institusyon ang adhikain na ipagpatuloy ang pagtuturo at paglinang sa mga estudyante na s’yang pag-asa ng ating bayan,” Prof. Lobo thanked the initiatives coming from the University in aiding the needs of learners in the new set-up.

Only one winner from a pool of nominees for Daloy Award, Excellence in Online Course Deliver, was hailed as the most outstanding online course deliverer and received the award as an exemplar of delivery practices using e-RTU as the main learning management system and delivery platform. Coming from the Senior High School (SHS) department, Prof. Lyka D. Lamoste took home the Daloy Award. Daloy Award was given to recognize faculty members who exemplified meritorious efforts and initiatives in continuously adapting with the RTU Flexible Learning System (FLEXYS) and present innovation driven by the University, particularly in Online Course Delivery.

“This is actually a demonstration of our key role as teachers to be flexible,” Prof. Lamoste emphasized the significance of flexibility for educators in the University that serves as the avenue for effective learning modalities.