News

Jun 10, 2022

Press Release

Providing E-learning to children in poverty at Internet Cafes in the Philippines to improve academic achievement

SuRaLa Net participants in a project by NPO Salt Payatas to recover learning under COVID-19

Tokyo,Japan, June 10, 2022—SuRaLa Net Co.,Ltd., a Japanese leading EdTech company,participates in a learning support project in the Republic of the Philippines (hereinafter referred to as “the Philippines”) conducted by Salt Payatas, a specified certified nonprofit corporation, utilizing Internet cafes for impoverished middle and high school students, and provides the math e-learning program “Surala Ninja!”. Starting offering the individualized learning e-learning classes in October 2021, impoverished children are improving their basic academic skills in mathematics amid the long-term closure of schools due to the spread of COVID-19. The continuation of the project has been decided for 80 students this year. In collaboration with Salt Payatas, it will continue to support the children’s learning so that they can regain the learning lost in COVID-19.

With the spread of COVID-19, schools in the Philippines have been closed for long periods of time and only limited face-to-face classes have been held. Children, especially those in impoverished areas who are economically challenged and lack access to digital devices and the Internet, have lost learning opportunities and have fallen far behind in their progress.

Salt Payatas, an authorized non-profit organization, has received a grant from the “Imai Kikin” to provide learning support for junior and senior high school students in the Kasiglahan area (near Manila), one of the most impoverished areas in the Philippines. While cooperating with the Internet café owners, local university students serve as facilitators to support children’s learning. Although the school closure in the COVID-19 has resulted in an increasingly wide disparity in children’s academic ability, digital learning is realizing optimized learning for each individual student.

Due to curfew restrictions caused by the spread of COVID-19 in the area, the project start was delayed 4 months from the original schedule, but the project started in October 2021 with the support of local facilitators. The study has continued, interspersed with interruptions due to lockdowns and outgoing restrictions along the way. At the end of the first phase of the project, a challenge event was held to motivate the children to complete more than 100 units in order to increase their learning. On May 7, an awards ceremony was held for children who achieved their goals.

By continuously providing individually optimized learning, results in the improvement of students’ academic performance has begun to be seen. An analysis of the results of a test to assess basic academic skills in arithmetic, conducted in October at the beginning of the project and at the end of March at the end of the school year, showed that scores improved remarkably, especially among children whose scores were low at the beginning of the project, and that more than 50% of the children achieved a correct answer rate of 80% or higher, a standard for mastery of the subject. In particular, in the areas of subtraction and division, which many children have difficulty with, the percentage of children who answered correctly improved by 20 points as a result of intensive study.

Baseline (conducted in October) vs. endline (conducted in March): distribution of academic achievement tests (percentage of correct answers)(N:53*)

Baseline (October implementation) vs. endline (March implementation): percentage of correct answers by field(N:53*)

*Number of children who took both tests. For the project, 113 children participated in the project in 2021

The leader of this project, Mr. Timothy Alconga, Executive Director of Salt Payatas Foundation Philippines Inc., commented “With the prolonged school closure, many students lose their learning opportunities because there are many students who did not have Internet access at home due to financial reasons and have anyone to ask about what they did not understand. The partnership with SuRaLa Net gives students a chance to revisit and remaster the basics of mathematics and approach problems in a more structured and efficient manner. The discipline and independence incurred from using Surala Ninja will be something that would be transferable to their approach in other subjects. Parents are thankful for Surala Ninja as they were having difficulty tutoring their children, while students learn seriously as they know of their upcoming rewards. The project also brings a lot of value to the community, providing an opportunity for facilitators to give back to their community and a steady source of income for the Internet Café.

Through its business activities, SuRaLa Net is working to address social issues, and publishes the Impact Management Report. Poverty is one of the four social issues we are focusing on, along with school absenteeism, developmental / learning disabilities, and poor academic performance. Working with various organizations, we provide learning opportunities for economically challenged children. For more information on SuRaLa Net’s ESG initiatives, please refer to our website.

SuRaLa Net will continue to contribute to solving the social issue of educational inequality by utilizing cutting-edge technology.

About the e-learning material “Surala Ninja!”
This e-learning system is developed for elementary school students as an overseas version so that students can enjoy learning the four rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division through interactive animations. Students can learn at their own pace on their own devices, and educators can adjust the learning content based on students’ understanding and progress through the learning management system, thus realizing personalized learning for each student. Currently, there is a Sinhala version for Sri Lanka, an Indonesian version for Indonesia, and an English version that is mainly used in India and the Philippines.

About SuRaLa Net
With the corporate philosophy of “Innovate education, empower children to drive their futures” SuRaLa Net provides the adaptive interactive ICT teaching materials “Surala” and “Surala Drill” to more than 430,000 students in about 2,500 tuition schools and schools in Japan. While our products are widely used in public schools, famous private junior and senior high schools, and major tuition schools nationwide, we continue to grow by providing learning opportunities for students with developmental and academic disabilities, truancy, and those from economically disadvantaged households, as well as other solutions to Japan’s educational issues, and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers in 2017 as a leading EdTech startup company.
Starting the overseas business in 2014, we introduce our solutions to private schools and tuition schools in many countries. Also, as Japanese-style education has been attracting attention in many countries around the world in recent years, we have been selected for projects by the Japanese government and international organizations, and are expanding our activities.
About our overseas business, please refer to the website: https://surala-net.com/

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