Pinoy Teacher Mixed Embroidery with Maths (World salutes him)


A Pinoy teacher named Dr. Jesus Insilada was chosen to represent the Philippines in the prestigious Global Teacher Prize 2018 in UAE. Let’s come together to know more about him and his unique teaching practices.

Dr. Jesus Insilada

Dr. Insilada was born in Calinog, Iloilo province. The 39-year-old teacher graduated Bachelor’s Degree from Calinog Agricultural and Industrial College and Master’s Degree and Ph.D. at West Visayas State University. He began teaching at Alcarde Gustilo Memorial National High School during 2002-2005. He later was appointed school principal at Wenceslao S. Grio National High School in 2015-2016. At present, he has been responsible for educational affairs at Alcarde Gustilo Memorial National High School. Dr. Jesus Insilada, the principal of Caninguan National High School in Lambunao, Iloilo is now a part of the top 10 finalists that will compete for this year’s Global Teacher Prize.

Dr. Insilada Culture-Based Educational Method

Jesus Insilada experimented on traditional study materials, as he mixed maths with embroidery and subjects like this. Coming from a region where transportation is a huge matter for kids and remote villagers are also not ready to welcome the modern education system. The culture-based approach is about the collaboration of indigenous and local forms of art including local games, epics, crafts, dances, and songs.

In 2005, Dr. Insilada started applying inclusive learning and culture-based educational method for teaching integrated programmed students. They could learn about their roots and identities through in-class activities in class and community-based research. Cultural masters, local government, and NGOs on social welfare and indigenous people are sometimes invited to give a lecture at schools as one of the methods that enable students to learn about their roots and creates a sense of community ownership.

Dr. Insilada is also a well-known novelist who excels in local Kinaraya language and English. Writing is his way of educating wider audience across ages and locations and enable people to take pride in their roots and cultural uniqueness.

“It is amazing how culture-based teaching is really keeping the children to stay in school. We have decreased our dropout rate from 5% to 1%. We even would like to make it 0% this school year,” Insilada said. “Teaching is a very rewarding profession. However, challenges are always inevitable. The teacher needs to be always positive and hopeful so that things will work well with the help of all the internal and external stakeholders. Truly, it takes a village to educate a child.” he adds further.

The school principal is also a member of indigenous people in Panay Bukidnon community and his approach made the students love their culture and tradition.

Global Teacher Prize 2018

He has received many national and international awards for teaching, and also for his writing and his promotion and support for indigenous culture. But now as he has been shortlisted for the global teacher prize definitely things will change to some extent.

Jesus is a principal of Caninguan National High School in Lambunao, Iloilo. He and the other nine finalists have been selected from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world. The top ten have been narrowed down from a top 50 shortlist that was announced in December 2017.

In announcing the finalists, Microsoft Founder and philanthropist Bill Gates paid a powerful tribute to the work of teachers around the world. “When you think about what drives progress and improvement in the world,” he said, “education is like a master switch-one that opens up all sorts of opportunities for individuals and societies.” He added: “Just as important, these teachers are leaders who have innovated in the classroom and mentored their colleagues. They have demonstrated the kind of collaboration –teachers and schools working together– that can give all students the opportunity to get a great education.”

Gates said that finalists were “selected based on a rigorous set of criteria, including their proven effectiveness in inspiring students and helping them learn.”
When asked what he felt being named in the top ten, Jesus said: ” I felt happy. It is an affirmation that I am on the right track.” “However,” he continued, “this also poses a challenge to sustain what I started and do more to serve our learners to the best that I can.”

To engage parents, Jesus has invited them to school and have them participate in their activities. “I consider them as partners in keeping the children in school and for them to forget the hardship even for a day, remind them that we can overcome poverty if we are educated,” Jesus said.
“It is only in the awareness of our identity that empowers us. When we are empowered, we can become productive citizens of our community, of our country and of the world.”

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize congratulated Insilada. “I hope his story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the Philippines and throughout the world every day,” he said.
“The thousands of nominations and applications we received from every corner of the planet is a testimony to the achievements of teachers and the enormous impact they have on all of our lives”.

The Global Teacher Prize Academy includes prominent names such as Wendy Kopp, co-founder, and CEO of Teach for All; Brett Wigdortz, founder of Teach First; Nick Booth, former CEO, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry; James E Ryan, Dean and Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education, United States; Jeffrey D. Sachs, world-renowned professor of economics and special advisor to the U.N; and, Lewis Pugh, the only person to have completed a long distance swim in every ocean of the world.

Read More about inspirational stories of teachers from the world at BEYOND TEACHING.