Education goes on amid Covid-19 thru DepEd’s continuity plan

Delivery of education in the country has greatly changed because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Since public and private schools were closed to protect the health of learners and educators, teaching had to be performed remotely with the use of modular and digital platforms.

In a statement on May 8, Education Leonor Briones said the Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) is the Department of Education’s major response and commitment in protecting the health, safety, and well-being of learners, teachers, and personnel.

Briones added that education must continue under the health protocols set by the Department of Health and the World Health Organization.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the BE-LCP to ensure that learning progresses among students despite the absence of face-to-face classes due to the threat of Covid-19.

The BE-LCP aims to provide quality distance learning with the use of self-learning modules in digital and printed form, radio, television, and the internet.

The DepEd has selected teachers who were trained to be teacher-broadcasters by the country’s top journalists to deliver lessons through the DepEd TV since not all areas in the country have an internet connection.

On Sept. 21, DepEd Director Abraham Abanil said the partner channels that will air the DepEd TV episodes include IBC 13, Solar TV, Cignal TV, GSAT, PTV4, Planet Cable, Philippine Cable, and Telecommunications Association, Gracia LMP, Mabuhay Pilipinas TV, and GMA Network.

With more than 100 teacher-broadcasters and 72 production team members, the DepEd TV production team aims to produce 220 episodes per week covering all the subject areas by January 2021.

To assist more learners and teachers in distance learning amid the pandemic, the DepEd also upgraded its DepEd Commons which is an online learning platform for both public and private schools.

DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Pascua said the department was able to double the number of learners that can access the platform at the same time with the help of the Department of Information and Communications Technology and National Telecommunications Commission.

Learners and teachers can also access it free of data charges by all mobile subscribers of Globe, TM, Smart, Sun, and TNT.

In response to numerous reports on errors found in various learning materials, the DepEd released Department Memorandum 00-1020-0138 which aims to receive and collate errors spotted on the self-learning modules, other printed materials, DepEd TV, DepEd TV YouTube Channel, and the DepEd Commons.

The errors were forwarded to the appropriate offices for validation and correction.

On Oct. 5, the academic year 2020 to 2021 opened virtually with more than 61,000 schools offering K to 12 Basic Education Program reopening to serve about 24,753,906 learners — 22,525,282 enrollees in public schools and 2,173,969 enrollees in private schools.

Briones considered the present school year “special” or “historic” as it is the first school year to open in the month of October under Republic Act 11480, allowing the President to move the opening of classes due to a national emergency.

In response to the “key challenges” in teaching students, the DepEd has adjusted the four quarters for the school year 2020-2021

In a memorandum issued on October 30, DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said the decision is part of the suggested measures to foster “academic ease” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DepEd extended the first quarter of the school year up to Dec. 12, 2020. The second quarter would start from Jan. 4, 2021 to Feb. 27, 2021; the third quarter, March 1, 2021 to April 24, 2021; and fourth quarter, April 26, 2021 to June 11, 2021.

Early this month, the DepEd has initiated preparation for the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in Covid-low risk areas.

However, on Dec. 26, Briones, in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order, suspended the pilot run of face-to-face classes originally set for January 2021 until further notice due to the emerging concern over the reported new strain of the virus that causes Covid-19 or the SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01.

In a New Year’s message, Briones said she is hopeful to further transform Philippine education in response to the changing world with the drastic changes in education brought by the pandemic.

“Education is not going to be the same as education during my time or during your time it’s going to change and the change has already started. We already recognize the signals, we see the increased role of technology and science,” she said.

“We see the need to encourage not only our teachers but our learners to not only specialize and memorize; but to know many things, to know how to analyze, to know how to be objective, to know how to come to break a problem apart and come up with a solution. Ito ang klase ng edukasyon na gusto natin (This is the kind of education that we want),” she added

Source: Philippines News agency

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