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Learning Through Play Final Report 2011

Country: Philippines
Date Submitted: May 15, 2011
Period: October, 2010-March, 2011

Description of Results

  • Key outputs: (Activities)

Activities focused on:

  • Continuing our advocacy and awareness program to the community through the inclusion of LTP in parents’ meetings, school programs, and other gatherings.
  • training of parents, teachers, students,  health professionals and other caregivers (nannies, grandparents and other relatives tasked with caring for children)
  • distribution of LTP calendars to parent groups after undergoing training
  • Maintaining the integration of LTP  in the curriculum of the BSN, BSED/BEED and Graduate School courses of Aldersgate College
  • strengthening our linkage with institutions (educational institutions, foundations and other organizations) that have organized groups that can be easily put together for meetings and trainings like the United Methodist Church, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Local Government Units in Nueva Vizcaya and Laguna;  the  Order of the Amaranth, the  Aldersgate Christian Child Center (Child-Fund Japan-sponsored families), and the Department of Education.

Outcomes and Impacts

In the Filipino culture, children are expected to be subservient to their parents. The parents believe that their children “belong” to them, and because of this, they have the final word when it comes to decisions concerning their children. This is one of the barriers that LTP attempted to hurdle.  Although this has not been totally erased, there are evidences of change among the parents in terms of the way they treat their children:

  • Most of them have learned to respect their children as individuals;
  • Decision-making has become participative. The child is now consulted by the parents on decisions made concerning him, i.e. from simple decisions as what food to eat to more serious ones like what course to take in college;
  • Children feel more secure with their parents because authoritarianism is lessened. Amore friendly and pleasurable relationship between parent and child is established;
  • “LTP” has become a part of the parenting vocabulary of parents. Whenever they use “LTP” as a “word”, they refer to a new and improved parenting technique. It is not unusual to hear parents commenting, “That is not LTP” whenever there are parents who tend to go back to their old authoritarian way of dealing with their children;
  • Parents are now enjoying the time they spend with their children because it is no longer just a time for baby-sitting, but a time for bonding and interaction and playing;
  • There is more participation of fathers in meetings and trainings
  • Parents have learned to listen to their children more,instead of just dictating what their children should do.
  • Children whose caregivers have been transformed by LTP are more confident in expressing their feelings and ideas at home and in school. They are also more assertive of their feelings and aspirations.
  • Problems in bullying and sibling rivalry are  lessened
  • Children are more considerate and affectionate to their siblings and playmates.
  • Children are more friendly, easier to deal with, more considerate, caring, affectionate, creative and expressive.

Part of the Filipino tradition on parenting is making children afraid of something because they believe that it would be easier to discipline children when they have something to be afraid of. Adults would tell children that there are ghosts that would take them when they misbehave.  They would also make children afraid of the policemen (because they have truncheons), doctors (because they will inject misbehaving kids), teachers (because they have sticks). It would be normal for children to obey their parents out of fear. After LTP, this practice was minimized. As a result, children feel more secure and confident.

Disciplineused to be synonymous with punishment.  With this as one of the important topics discussed during trainings, parents became more aware that disciplining can be done without violence but with love. As a result, corporal punishment is lessened.

Traditionally, communication is one-sided, that is, the adult gives the rules, and children are expected to listen and obey.  After LTP, communication between children and adults has improved. One-way communication is minimized

Teachers have observed that the children under their care are easier to deal with. Because of this, there is less problems in discipline.

Mothers acquired a more positive sense of self, making them more confident in doing their roles not only as mothers but also as wives.

Fathers who attended trainings opened their eyes to the idea that parenting is not limited to the mother, and that they have a role to play in their children’s development. This gave them a new perspective on their relationship with their wives.

Local Context

Description of the local context which may have affected project results.

The LTP Program implementing Agency is Aldersgate College, located in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, a province in Luzon, the northernmost and biggest of the 3 main island groups of the Philippines (the other 2 being the Visayas , and Mindanao).

Nueva Vizcaya is a part of the Cagayan Valley, a land basin surrounded by 3 mountain ranges. The climate ranges from being fairly cold (15-20 ? Celsius) especially in the months of December to February, to being relatively warm; but it can get very hot (30-38 ? Celsius)during the summer months.

It is easy to organize groups of parents and conduct meetings when the weather is favourable. Rains and typhoons occur unexpectedly during the year, and this becomes a setback for scheduled meetings and trainings. It is not much of a problem for parents in the central towns to attend meetings and trainings because public transportation is very accessible. In remote and mountainous areas however,where the riding public has to wait for tricycles and jeepneys to get filled up with passengers before they can finally travel to their destination, parents invited to attend trainings and meetings either get late or do not attend anymore.

As the Philippines is basically an agricultural country, many of our clientele are farmers. Onereason why some parents cannot attend all meetings and trainings is because they are in the farms tending their crops. Others are in the market place selling their produce. No matter how they want to attend trainings and gain new insights on parenting, they are constrained by the need to look for a living for their families.

  • Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of the LTP project who were trained on LTP concepts and methods are the following:

  • Parents – members of the Parent-Teachers Associations in Preschools and Day care centers;  parents of the ChildFund-Japan- assisted children and neighbourhood associations.

As earlier reported, there is a growing number of young parents. They are the ones who need training in LTP to guide them,inasmuch as the only knowledge on parenting they know are those that are passed on to them by their elders, which may not be necessarily correct.

  • Students  enrolled in the Education, Nursing and Master’s degree programs of Aldersgate College – these students will serve as trainers in their respective schools and areas of work after graduation.
  • Pre-school Teachers and Daycare Workers – since they are directly involved in teaching and caring for preschool children, their knowledgein LTP concepts  and methods has given them a new direction in terms of planning activities for the children under their care.
  • United Methodist Church  organizations:
    • Women’s group – mothers and grandmothers who are also directly involved with child-rearing
    • Young Adults group – this organization is composed mostly of young mothers and fathers who find their knowledge in LTP helpful in their role as parents to preschool-aged children
  • Members of the Order of the Amaranth – this is a fraternal organization whose membership ranges from mothers, teachers and other professionals, also directly involved with children.
  • Children – The end-recipients of the LTP program are the children whose parents, teachers and care givers were given the chance to develop their awareness on the real essence of parenting

Who were not able to attend the training sessions and what are some of the possible reasons for this?

Many fathers miss the opportunity to attend LTP sessions because they are working, some in offices as employees, others as farm workers. Those who get the chance to attend sessions are the unemployed.

It may be good to note that in the whole duration of the LTP program implementation, most of the groups that were organized for LTP orientation, training and meetings were well-attended.

Unintended Impacts

The parents of the ChildFund-Japan –assisted children of Aldersgate College who were given LTP training were not trained to be public speakers. Their knowledge in LTP has somehow given them the confidence to share it with other parents. At least two (2) of these parents,Jennie Lyn Ballestra, and Martina Julian, have become good speakers, as they are often given the opportunity to share their LTP experience. Being members of a barangay (village) with at least five hundred (500) household, these mothers may be able to share their LTP experience and as a result, may influence the parenting practices of the people around them. The impact may not be immediate, but in the long-term, at least a thousand children may be benefited.

LTP Training

How community members are using LTP training at the community level, formally or informally

One observation made among the parents who trained in LTP is their increased awareness of how they act in front of children. Because of this, people who have not been through any LTP training are, in one way or another, consciously or unconsciously, affected and influenced by them. One mother (ArcelyPadrones, mother of 4), shared her experience that in one of her conversations with a friend, she was asked why she has been acting differently with her children, that is, she no longer yells at them, and that her children are now more behaved than they used to. That gave the mother the opportunity to share LTP with her friend.

  • Resources

Additional resources that have been developed to support the LTP program.

In addition to the LTP calendars that were translated to Tagalog, Ilocano and Visayan, the following resources have been developed: .

PowerPoint Presentations on the topics in the different sessions contained in the Training Manuals were developed:

  • Understanding my Parenting Style
  • How the brain works
  • Critical Areas of Development
  • The Parameters of Parenting
  • The Father’s Parenting Role

Lessons Learned

As mentioned in the previous report, superstition and tradition often become hindrances in the introduction of new concepts like LTP. Based on the Aldersgate College experience, it is always helpful to discuss LTP methods and techniques vis-a-vis existing parenting practices. It is also advisable to talk about how superstitious beliefs interfere with LTP. In so-doing, the trainees will be able to compare which methods are more advantageous to their children.

We have also learned that in order for parents to understand the LTP concepts better, it is advisable to contextualize them along Filipino culture and traditions.

  • The Multiplier Effect


How the Learning Through Play program was integrated into other programs in the country

The plan to provide LTP training to Public Elementary School Teachers under the Department of Education and their PTAs was initially realized when 34 teachers enrolled to specialize in Early Childhood Education during the 3rd trimester at Aldersaget College.  As an integral part of the Education curriculum, this group of teachers were given 18-hour training.  They showed enthusiasm to the LTP program and have made a promise to become LTP trainers in their respective schools and communities. These teachers came from seven (7) municipalities of Nueva Vizcaya (Sta. Fe, Aritao, Bambang, Bayombong, Bagabag, Quezon and Villaverde) and two (2) municipalities of the nearby province of Ifugao (Hingyon and Lagawe).

Even after CIDA assistance, Aldersgate College will continue to expand its services in LTP to these municipalities with the assistance of these 34 public school teachers. The LTP Team composed of Prescilla Soriano, Esperanza Macoto, Leticia Puguon, Jemuel Soriano and the Aldersgate College GraSE Project (Graduate School Extension Program) has made a commitment to continue sowing the seeds of LTP so that we may fulfill our goal of making every Filipino child  holistically healthy and strong,  endowed with human dignity;  a loving  caring and creative individual;  happy, loved, and nurtured by a strong, stable and God – loving family;  confident, assertive of his rights and reaching his full potential with the right opportunities and accessible resources.