UPRI, UPOU’s free course on Basics of Resilience kicks off with 2,100 enrollees

UPRI, UPOU’s free course on DRR opens today
The welcome page of the Basics of Resilience course on the UPOU Massive Open Distance e-Learning platform

The University of the Philippines’ first and free online course resilience, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) was officially opened today, January 15, 2024. The course, titled the Basics of Resilience Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), is a collaborative program by the UP Resilience Institute (UPRI) and the UP Open University Faculty of Management and Development Studies (UPOU-FMDS) in an effort to make education on DRR and climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM) accessible and inclusive.

As of writing, about 2,100 individuals have enrolled for the said course. Most of them are DRR officers, university students, crisis managers, DRR-CCA practitioners, legislators, researchers, educators, and survivalists from across the country.

The first course that opened today aims to equip students with knowledge on the fundamental concepts of disaster, disaster risk, and resilience; DRR and CCAM, mitigation frameworks, policies, resilience building best practices and experiences, among others. Soon, a series of training courses will also be offered, which may be credited towards a UP Baccalaureate Diploma or a Master’s Degree in Resilience. 

This initiative, as per UPOU Chancellor Melinda Dela Peña Bandalaria, also concretizes the micro-credentialing roadmap developed by the UPOU. Through this framework, individuals may gain qualifications on certain competencies and skills through bite-sized courses, and eventually credit them toward a UP degree.

University of the Philippines President Atty. Angelo A. Jimenez expressed his support and enthusiasm for the opening of the courses during the launching on December 5, 2023. He emphasized the crucial role that universities play in generating knowledge and making it accessible to the Filipino people, especially in the face of the worsening effects of climate change.

“[The role of the universities] is to sell our science and bring the message to the world that climate justice, climate action are the greatest moral imperative of our time. Science does not solve problems, it can only provide solutions. To solve a problem, you have to have arms and legs on the ground actually changing lives, protecting lives… We can all publish all these great works,but it will not matter to the poor or the climate-threatened until this knowledge goes out of our university and is applied to the field,” said Atty. Jimenez.

This message was also reiterated by Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, executive director of the Climate Change Commission (CCC). He stressed the significance of accessible resilience education in empowering Filipino individuals. “The CCC recognizes the importance of education as a powerful tool in promoting climate change resilience.”

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Undersecretary Ariel F. Nepomuceno also said that the MOOC would be instrumental in the ongoing efforts of the OCD to build a cadre of DRR professionals equipped with the necessary know-how to effectively implement DRR programs and carry out CCAM activities. He added that this initiative is crucial in making safer and more resilient Filipino communities. 

During the MOOC launching, Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, executive director of UPRI, traced the occurrence of various major disasters that have impacted the country. He expressed his hope that this collaboration between UPRI and UPOU-FMDS will prove to be an effective means of bolstering resilience in communities, drawing lessons from past disasters, and preventing catastrophes from happening again.

This first run of the Basics of Resilience MOOC will be up to February 14, 2024. Learners will have until then to go through the 4 modules of the course. Interested students may still sign up to the course while it remains open at https://url.upou.edu.ph/upoumodel-signup