Existing railway personnel and maintenance staff can now access self-paced training courses through an online learning platform launched by the newly established Philippine Railways Institute (PRI) with a P307-million grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
PRI’s learning management system (LMS) is an online learning platform that allows self-paced learning, while still encouraging the trainees’ participation through facilitated contact sessions.
In a statement, DOTr undersecretary and PRI officer-in-charge Anneli Lontoc, stressed that PRI is now able to provide remote learning sustainably during this pandemic.
“PRI is now part of a growing number of institutes and organizations that have adopted this kind of learning platform,” said Lontoc.
“The LMS gives PRI instructors and railway trainees an academic and scalable digital learning environment alongside the existing video platform being used by the Institute. It is also mobile-friendly, which allows trainees and instructors seamless access to learning materials anytime and anywhere,” she added.
The PRI has recently conducted the first LMS-delivered refresher training course, with 30 railway personnel and 15 graduating college students as participants.
Lontoc noted that the pandemic disruption has accelerated technological trends in the fields of learning and education.
“Instructional methodologies are evolving with the adoption of innovations to address limitations set by health and safety protocols to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.”
Before the strict community quarantine was imposed due to the pandemic in March 2020, the PRI was conducting the Refresher Training Course (RT) face-to-face with a total of six batches of trainees completing the course.
From July 2020 to February 2021, the learning institute shifted to the Web Refresher Training Course (WRT), an online course conducted through the Zoom platform, with 15 batches completing it.
In November 2020, PRI expanded the scope of its WRT to include graduating college students with railways-relevant background and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with railway operation and maintenance experience.