By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
As it prepares for the “new normal’ in education due to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Education (DepEd) underscores the important role of parents and guardians in making sure that the learning of their children will continue amid expected disruptions.
DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla, in an earlier virtual press conference, noted that the agency has come up with a Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) as a response to changes in the basic education sector amid the public health emergency. DepEd is also scheduled to submit its recommendations to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on school opening and other related matters.
While the LCP will provide a framework on learning continuity of students, Sevilla said that the cooperation and support coming from parents will be very important as the entire basic education system braces for the so-called “new normal.”
Aside from the possible delay in school opening from June to August or later months, DepEd is preparing the implementation of multimodal approaches to learning such as online learning, Face-to-face classroom instruction may still not be possible if schools remain closed due to the continued threat of COVID-19. Smaller classrooms sizes, Saturday classes, and other alternative delivery modes (ADMs) are also being considered to ensure that learning of students will continue.
“The other aspect and I think this is really big, is the role of parents,” Sevilla said. “The role of the parents especially on an online platform is very relevant and huge,” she added. If online learning will be used, Sevilla said there are several considerations that would require parents’ participation and involvement such as the facility to be used, gadgets, internet connection, among others.
“Of course, the important part is the follow-up because after the children are exposed (to online learning) or once they have experienced the online platform learning, the next aspect is the follow-up, especially how the learner has performed after the online interaction,” Sevilla explained in a mix of English and Filipino.
Sevilla said that the scope of DepEd’s responsibilities may be extended to parents and other family members to ensure the success in implementing online learning. “If the parents or other family members like grandparents, aunties or uncles, and even the nanny, we need to give them orientation too,” she ended.