Amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) regional office here said it is all set for the opening of classes for the school year 2020-2021 on Monday (Oct. 5).
DepEd regional director Nicolas Capulong said preparations have been made by 20 school division offices in Central Luzon to ensure readiness in providing education to some 2.7 million learners in the region under the “new normal.”
Data from the DepEd Regional Policy, Planning, and Research Division showed that there is a total of 2,732,479 learners in Central Luzon enrolled for the school year 2020-2021 as of October 1.
Out of this figure, a total of 2,393,421 or 87.59 percent are enrolled in public schools, 333,046 or 12.19 percent in private schools, and 6,012 or .22 percent in state and local universities and colleges.
Capulong said they have crafted a regional basic education learning continuity plan in various modalities “to address all the different aspects to ensure the readiness of our schools, our teachers, our learners, and their parents while we also ensure their health and safety against Covid-19.”
“It was not definitely an easy task to shift from the traditional mode of teaching to new normal in education and yet this obstacle did not hamper us in fulfilling our mission to provide quality education to our learners in Central Luzon,” he said during the virtual kick-off program on Friday.
DepEd assistant regional director Rhoda Dizon said teachers in Central Luzon have been capacitated through various training on how to implement the various learning modalities under the new normal.
“There is no specific learning modality in the entire region. We have to consider the situation of the students and our teachers and whatever is available in the communities. Whatever is the current situation where education will be implemented is based on the context of the schools,” Dizon said.
She particularly cited the case in Aurora province wherein online learning cannot be done as learners are living in the mountains.
In highly-urbanized cities like the City of San Fernando, she said there are various available resources such as online teaching, radio, and television-based and blended learning modalities.
“I am really excited to see as to what learning modalities will our teachers implement in their respective schools,” she said.
Dizon said teachers in the region were provided with psychosocial interventions to face various challenges amid the pandemic.
“While we want to continue giving prime education to our students, the health and well-being of our officials and teachers must be taken care of,” she added.
Support from LGUs, and other stakeholders
Education officials acknowledged the importance of support and assistance of concerned government agencies, local government units (LGUs), the private sector, and other stakeholders in the region.
“We also wish to extend our profound gratitude to our partners in education like our local government officials, media partners, and other benevolent groups and individuals who tirelessly support us. This school year 2020-2021 kickoff program is a testament that the spirit of bayanihan is very much alive especially now that we are in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic,” Capulong said.
Dizon also said the local government officials are their partners in providing resources such as equipment, which the schools and the parents cannot provide to the learners.
“Everyone has a part in the education of our children now and we would like to thank our local government officials, parents and to all the people who have a big heart for education,” she said.
Cesar Cassion, Regional Director of the Department of Health (DOH), said that education is a national responsibility and not the concern of the DepEd alone.
“The DOH is one of the partners of the DepEd in protecting the welfare and health of learners in Central Luzon. We will continue to provide support for the success of this school year,” Cassion said.
Julie Daquioag, regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), also assured the support of their agency for the initiatives and activities of the DepEd.
“Tulungan natin ang Department of Education. Ito ay para sa atin, para sa kinabukasan ng mga kabataan. Tulong-tulong tayo, lalo na ngayon that we are going through a new normal (Let us help the Department of Education. This is for us, for the future of the youth. Let us help one another especially now that we are going through a new normal),” Daquioag said.
For Dexine Niecole Turalde, a grade 12 HUMMS student, City of Balanga National High School in Bataan, admitted that it is not easy to adapt to the new normal of acquiring education.
“During this time of the pandemic, all of us, students are adjusting and it is hard for us to adapt the changes of being in the new normal, but thankfully, the DepEd is helping us to cope up by providing some learning modules,” Turalde said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency