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Sineskwela Logo

Sineskwela, alternatively known as "School on Air," was an award-winning television program in the Philippines. It was produced by ABS-CBN Foundation, with the Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Education (DepEd) extending academic and technical support. Sineskwela was aired locally on ABS-CBN and internationally on the The Filipino Channel.


Concept and Format

Sineskwela presented and explained otherwise complicated principles and concepts of science and technology through dramatization and visual effects. It also demonstrated the practical application of science in familiar life situations, thereby allowing the information to be easily understood and appreciated by its young viewers.

Sineskwela was a curriculum-based show and catered to public elementary students from Grade 2 to 6. The DepEd mandated that it be shown in the science class of each grade level at least once a week. Five episodes--one for each of the five grade levels--were shown every week. Each episode presented different problems and situations in which the characters had a chance to explore the world of science. The characters would gather information not just through library research but also through laboratory experiments, field investigations, on-the-scene reporting, and use of visual effects. An example would be the show's characters, Anatom and Agatom, shrinking to the size of molecules and entering biological organisms such as a flower or a dog. In these mini-adventures, they would encounter several personifications of bacteria, pollen, and other possible objects who explain the related scientific theories and phenomena.

Impact on Science Learning

A 1996 study reported that Sineskwela contributed to greater understanding of science in the target students. It provided an alternative way of learning science, and a marked increase in achievement levels was observed in the subjects. As a result, numerous individuals, private companies, and non-government organizations saw the potential of the program to contribute to advancing science education in the country. Many have donated television sets to public schools nationwide so students even in far-flung provinces could have access to and learn through the program.

Awards and Recognition

In November 2003, Sineskwela was awarded the Prix de Jeunesse (Youth Prize) at the 20th Television Science Programme Festival held in France. John Red directed the award-winning episodes, which focused on the Pasig River and its deterioration over time. The segments demonstrated how human activity contributed to the river's pollution, and described how children could identify the pollution levels of the river. Towards the end of the episodes, a discussion was presented regarding the benefits of a biologically active river, and offered the young audience practical ideas to help the Pasig River regain its natural condition.

A description of these episodes appeared in a 400-page catalogue of the 20th International Scientific Audio Visual Conference.

Cast and Characters


Ryan Cayabyab composed the music for Sineskwela, including the show's main theme.


  1. "Youth Sineskwela." FilipinoChannels. (accessed on July 09, 2007).
  2. "Sineskwela." Telebisyon. (accessed on July 09, 2007).
  3. Cristobal, Ruby R. "Sineskwela wins grand prize in International Television Festival in France." (accessed on September 7, 2007).
  4. Studio 23 Program Schedules. (accessed on September 7, 2007).



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