Last December I wrote an essay on how to solve the quality and shortage problems in public textbooks as a starting point for a project. After a number of suggestions from friends, we decided to call the project “Bayanihan Books”. “Bayanihan” is originally a Filipino tradition wherein neighbors would help a family relocate by carrying their house it to its new location. More generally, the word has come to means a communal effort towards achieving a noble goal.
Bayanihan Books has a blog and a mailing that has 43 members currently. Two books are now available for editing and volunteers have already started writing the outline based on learning competencies outlined by the Department of Education.
I would like to thank all volunteers who believe in this project and the people spreading the word and recruiting more volunteers.
Bayanihan Books has also been mentioned in other websites as well:
- “Pinoy uses wiki model to make textbooks for public schools” is an article that appeared in Inquirer.net. It was written by fellow group member Erwin Oliva.
- The Philippine Commons, the local proponent of the Creative Commons license has included Bayanihan Books as one of the pioneer project in open content and education. The Philippine Commons group is headed by Atty. Berne Guerrero. Jane Park of the global Creative Commons website has also written a post about Bayanihan Books. Jun Asis, a proponent of elearning, also mentions Bayanihan Books in his post about Creative Commons.
- My former professor and friend Rommel Feria suggests merging Bayanihan Books with Curriki, a project by former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy. Hmmn. Something to think about and discuss with the group one of these days.
- “Yearning to be Educated” is blog post by Anne (another member) who, just like me, is a product of public schools. We had the same experience with dilapidated textbooks but I think hers is worse because her surname starts with V. Through her blog, I found the blog of Sidney Snoeck that contains many touching photos of Filipino kids at school.