By Analou De Vera
The Department of Education (DepEd) is looking at reducing the number of students in a class for the coming school year, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.
This is in accordance with physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, said Abram Abanil, director for Information and Communication Technology Services of DepEd.
“Ine-expect natin na maliliit ang class sizes natin, primarily dahil kailangan natin maimplement yung strict na social distancing measures. We expect na magkakaroon lang ng mga 15 to 20 students bawat klase pagdating nitong ating upcoming school opening (We expect class sizes to be small, primarily because we need to implement strict social distancing measures. We expect there will be only about 15 to 20 students per class for the upcoming school opening),” said Abanil during the Department of Health’s (DOH) press briefing on April 29.
Abanil said that they will provide learning activities using technology to grade school and high school students.
“Ang ibang bata ineexpect natin na nandoon lang sila sa kanilang bahay. Kaya magbibigay ng mga alternatives of learning using technology, using paperless activities para makapagpatuloy ang pag-aaral ng ating mga kabataan (We are expecting that some children will be staying at their homes. So we will provide alternative learning for them using technology—paperless activities so they can continue their studies),” he said.
Abanil said that they are also looking at providing students e-books, which can be accessed on DepEd’s official website.
DepEd will also conduct training for the 900,000 teachers nationwide to be able to adapt to this new teaching method.
“Kailangan din natin ma-train yung ating mga teachers, kasi hindi naman sila sanay sa ganitong klaseng modality of teaching (We also need to train our teachers because they may not be used to this mode of teaching),” he said.
Role of parents
The DepEd official underscored the importance of the role of parents under this “new normal,” urging them to supervise their children’s studies at home.
“Mahirap talaga ‘yung conditions. Kailangan ang face-to-face classes ngayon ay naka-schedule lang, and most of the time ang mga kabataan natin ay nasa bahay na ngayon (The conditions are very difficult. Now, face-to-face classes need to be scheduled, and most of the time young people will just be at home now),” he explained.
“Very important yung parental support. Kailangan ma-guide ng parents on how to use technology, especially doon sa mga early grades and even doon sa mga upper grades. Kailangan nila ma-motivate yung mga anak nila para gawin yung activities, na in-assign ng ating mga guro pagdating ng upcoming school year (Parental support is very crucial. Parents need to be able to guide their children on how to use technology, especially those who are in the early grades and even those in the upper levels. They need to motivate their children to do the activities assigned by their teachers),” he added.