This year, on International Women's Day, Google Philippines held an event honoring nine successful Pinays. We learned about how they use technology to reach their goals and change the lives of others. One of the women present that day was Rowie Matti, the CEO of Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, Inc.
During the event, Rowie admitted that she used to control her children's use of technology: "In the beginning, I didn't want to believe, but then teachers would post homework online, so I really had to go with the trend." Now, Rowie uses Facebook and other platforms to connect with her kids and even the students' parents!
How has technology propelled your business or advocacy?
With Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it is easy to tell the people around you about what you are doing and what you believe in. With just one post, you can reach people from all over the world; if they believe in your cause, they can easily reach out to you. That's how powerful online connectivity and technology are nowadays. I've met so many people with the same passion for education. I get inspiration from what great educators and entrepreneurs do.
I know Galileo schools are adamant about teaching students the value of money. How exactly are you doing that?
We work with a big company whose advocacy is financial literacy. They provide the curriculum and teaching materials. We tweaked the program to fit the needs of children. We teach them how to earn, save, invest, and donate. A lot of Filipinos grow up without knowing how to, and too many Filipinos grow old without savings. They end up working all their lives without knowing that this basic life skill can pave the way to enjoying old age.
How can parents help make sure their kids are financially literate?
Expose them to business. In my family, we teach children how to work for their allowance, so that they better understand the value of money. We still give gifts on special occasions; but if they want something else on a regular day, they have to work for it.
In an article published by Inquirer.net, you said that you see improvements in your students’ academic performance in less than a year. How does technology play into that?
In Galileo, we teach children a concept or topic in multiple ways. We teach them through tactile materials like flashcards, worksheets, reading books, and the computer, which is, of course, their favorite part. The tablet or computer also has different educational apps; we try to stay updated with new trends and activities.
What kinds of connections have you made in how students learn math and tech?
Math is the foundation for understanding science equations and theories. It develops a way of logical thinking. Of course, it has to be paired with English. These two subjects are the basis of comprehension and problem solving, which can be applied in the real world. Big companies these days not only test characters and judgment, but also test basic math skills. To be able to grasp other subjects easily, like programming, it helps to have a quick mind and a deeper level of understanding. We're actually including coding in our summer curriculum since it's also a basic skill now.
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