By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
While their respective schools have provision for Flexible Learning Options (FLOs) for education, teachers in both public and private schools believe that they lack training when it comes to Alternative Delivery Modes (ADMs) and the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
The Asia Foundation – Philippines is running a survey entitled, “Kamusta Ka, Teacher?” to understand teachers’ knowledge and confidence in using FLOs amid the COVID-19 crisis. The said survey, which started last April 2 and will run until April 30, is part of the Foundations’ efforts in contributing to the response of the Department of Education (DepEd) in ensuring learning continuity amid the health crisis.
The Foundation released an initial result of the survey dated April 27 and was submitted to the DepEd since it is also one of the partners of the agency in formulating its Learning Continuity Plan (LCP).
Based on initial results of the survey which covered 1,821 respondents as of April 21 , 85 % or 1, 548 teachers said that they do not have training in ADM while 83% or 1, 511 also answered that they do not have training in ALS. Likewise, 71 % or 1,291 of the respondents also said that they have no prior FLO teaching experience.
Education amid COVID-19
The Asia Foundation – Philippines is conducting the survey to get data from those in the education profession as the country copes with the direct and indirect consequences of the pandemic.
The survey intends to “understand the current situation of teachers hoping that it would look into possible policy recommendations to prepare us for the coming months of uncertainty.”
The survey focuses teachers’ thoughts on the possibility of using FLOs as a strategy to ensure the continuity of education amid the public health crisis. As defined, FLOs provide a “menu of learning interventions and pathways that are responsive to the needs, context, circumstances, and diversity of learners.”
The Foundation noted that FLOs “allow for variations in organization, approaches, and modalities of teaching and learning” covering two main categories which are the ADMs and the ALS.
Of the 1,821 respondents, 81% are teachers, 15% have coordinator duties, and 4 % have administrator duties in schools. Majority of the respondents (36%) have been teaching for more than 10 years. Most of the respondents of the survey are Eh lementary school teachers (47.22%); 34.49% are Preschool and Kindergarten teachers; 11.09% are Junior High School teachers; 4.61 are Senior High School teachers; 10.16% are College and Graduate School and faculty; and 9.67% are ALS teachers.
Aside from training and prior experience in FLOs, the survey also covered schools’ provision and readiness to implement FLOs and the confidence level of teachers to use FLOs.
Initial results of the survey showed that 55. 68 % or 1,020 of the respondents said that their respective schools have provisions for FLOs; 25.92 % or 473 said their schools do not have FLO provisions and 18. 40 % or 328 said they are “not sure” whether their schools have provisions for FLOs or none.
When it comes to the readiness of schools to implement ADMs and ALS for the coming school year (SY) 2020-2021, 47 % or 856 respondents said their schools “maybe” ready; 26 % or 473 believe that their schools are ready and 27 % or 492 said their schools are not ready.
Asked if they ever conducted any FLOs for education in the past school years, 71 % of 1,292 of the respondents answered “no” while 29 % said “yes.” Meanwhile, 85 % or 1, 548 respondents said that they do not have any form of training in ADM while 15 % or 273 said they have. Likewise, 83 % or 1,511 of the respondents said that they no raining in ALS while 17 % said they have ALS training.
When it comes to assessing their confidence level, respondents said they are “somewhat confident” to use FLOs. Their confidence level was gauged using FLOs such as ADMs, ALS, as well as Distance Learning, Homeschooling, and Online Learning.
The Foundation said that a full paper paper based on the results of the survey will be released as input to craft possible options to DepEd, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), school administrators, and teachers to ensure the continuation of education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.