Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ed-tech start-up Quipper School helps improve UPCAT passing rate in local high school

Dr. Ferdinand Blancaflor Pitagan (DepEd educational technology consultant) on his talk during the conference
A public school in Quezon City has improved its passing rate for the University of the Philippines College Admissions Test (UPCAT) this year, and all it took was the school-wide implementation of a free education online platform.

Irene Canon of Culiat High School in Quezon City said that with introduction of Quipper School last year, their students’ UPCAT performance improved considerably.

Canon, who is assistant to the principal for administration and OIC school administrator, shared that seven of their students passed the recent UPCAT. In past years, the school was lucky to have at least just one student pass the test. Likewise, a number of their pupils have won top prizes in a number of inter-school competitions. 

“I have been with Culiat for 33 long years. I can say this is a very unique experience for all of us,” she said.

This was one of testimonies shared by participants in the recent National Principals Conference organized by Quipper School (QS). The conference was held to work with educators nationwide to find out how it can help improve the quality of education in the Philippines through technology. Participants numbering close to 600 came from as far as Mountain Province to Davao City.

QS is a free supplemental tool for homework management that is administered online. Developed in Japan, the education platform was first implemented in the Philippines last year.

Through QS, teachers assign students homework that can be accessed free of charge through its webpage. The homework is gamified making it fun for students and easy to use for teachers. Making, creating, sending and monitoring homework completion is as easy as using any social media site. 

QS is lightweight and its content is always available online, making it easy for students to access their homework any time of the day on any kind of computer, whether a PC, tablet or mobile phone. Likewise, the program is aligned with the K-12 curriculum currently being implemented by the Department of Education.

QS Philippines general manager Yuki Nataori explained that the Philippines was chosen for implementation of the program since it is a high potential country with a growing population and with a widespread use of computers and mobile devices nationwide.

(From: L-R) Yuki Natori (QS Philippine, General Manager), Masa Watanabe (CEO),Dr. Ferdinand Blancaflor Pitagan (DepEd educational technology consultant)
Since the e-learning platform was introduced in January 2014, public schools in Quezon City, Manila, Pasay City, Marikina, Caloocan, and Muntinlupa in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Bacolod City and Silay City in Negros Occidental, and DasmariƱas, Cavite have adopted the program. A total of 50,000 schoolteachers signed up for the service, while 500,000 students are registered into the program.

A study conducted by Dr. Ferdinand Blancaflor Pitagan, DepEd educational technology consultant, found that the use of QS contributed to high test scores, attendance rate and assignment submissions of Grade 7 students in learning mathematics. 

The study compared the pre- and post-test results of three groups of students to determine the efficacy of QS as an educational tool. The students were divided into three groups, with one group receiving eight QS sessions, another group with only four QS sessions, and a control group that was taught eight sessions in a traditional classroom setting.

The study found that students who received full exposure to QS recorded significant improvement in quiz scores, submission of assignments, class participation and attendance when compared to those who were taught in a traditional setting. 

There was an 80 percent improvement on test scores among students who received QS, as compared with students who were tutored in a conventional way. Likewise, 44 percent of students who received QS said they were satisfied with the program.

Yuki Natori, QS General Manager, during his opening remarks in the conference. 
On the other hand, students who received a combination of teaching modalities likewise recorded improved final test scores.

Dr. Romulo B. Rocena, DepEd Manila assistant division schools superintendent, said many public school teachers in Manila reported that students have become more motivated in their schoolwork since the introduction of Quipper School.

There are 105 public schools in Manila, consisting of 72 elementary schools and 33 high schools, with a total enrolment of 270,000 students. Thirty-three percent of the schools use QS for English and mathematics.

“The students are now more motivated in class. They are more participative and have improved attendance. The students are also excited to see the new lessons on Quipper School,” Rocena said.

He added that he recommended the expansion of the implementation of QS in Manila public schools.

QS business development officer Ryan Guerrero said, "We want to bring the benefits of Quipper School to educators and students all over the Philippines. The early results are very encouraging, and we want to work with more schools, more teachers, and more students to make it even better. The best thing is, it's so easy to sign up and try it for yourself, as a lot of our early users have done. Just visit for teachers to see for yourself how effective this platform is in helping you educate our youth better."

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