DepEd-12 to adopt alternative learning modes amid pandemic

Region 12 or Soccsksargen. Map courtesy of Google

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 07 May) – Public schools in the Soccsksargen region have started preparations for the implementation of alternative learning modes by the opening of classes in August amid the continuing 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Dr. Allan Farnazo, Department of Education (DepEd)-Region 12, said the crafting of modules for various learning modalities that will be adopted by public elementary, junior and senior high schools across the region.

He said they will implement a blended learning system featuring face-to-face or classroom instruction and the online mode.

They have also considered home-schooling as alternative and supplement these with radio and television-based instruction, he said.

Before identifying the learning modalities, Farnazo said they carefully studied the COVID-19 situation and considered various scenarios when regular classes open on Aug. 24.

“We came up with the conclusion that education must continue (amid this pandemic). We have to realize that our situation now is better off compared to the past years because of the technologies at hand,” he said in a radio interview.

The official said they earlier conducted an online survey among the estimated 43,000 public school teachers in the region regarding their readiness to adopt the online learning system and other modes.

Of around 41,000 teachers who responded, he said over 11,700 signified their intention and declared that they were ready for the online teaching method.

“If you multiply that number with at least 30 learners each, it will really be a big help when our classes will eventually resume because our direction now is to reduce the physical presence of our learners in the schools,” he said.

For the face-to-face instruction, the official said they have adopted guidelines that were consistent with the COVID-19 safety protocols set by the Department of Health like the practice of social or physical distancing and the wearing of face masks.

He said learners and teachers who have medical condition and special needs as well as those classified under the vulnerable sectors will not be considered for such mode.

Farnazo said the online learning will be offered mainly to those with access to Internet and have laptops, desktop computers and cellphones.

Those who have the required equipment but lack Internet access will be included in the modular approach, he said.

He said learners can download the modules for one grading period and study in their homes as with the home-schooling system.

Farnazo assured that the teachers will be assigned to the modality where they will be deemed effective.

“The role of the parents to provide guidance and assistance will be huge to ensure success. They don’t need to be professionals. It will mainly depend on their capability to make sure that their children will strictly follow the learning schedules as required,” he added. (MindaNews)