By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Recognizing that not all learners and teachers may have access to technology, the Department of Education (DepEd) on May 5, Tuesday, said that it has prepared learning options that would help ensure that education will continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
DepEd Undersecretary and Spokesperson Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan, during the “Laging Handa” virtual press briefing, explained that DepEd has prepared various modes of learning delivery that schools and teachers can use as the country grapples with the continued threat of the novel coronavirus-2019.
“We’d like to clarify that we’re not only using [an] online platform. What DepEd will give is a menu of learning delivery options and various materials both online, printed, and digital,” Malaluan explained.
“Based on that menu of options and platforms, our field units will decide what will be appropriate for their learners and the context of their areas,” he added.
DepEd has announced that the school opening for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 is on August 24.
During the enrollment period from June 1 to 30, Malaluan said there will be a survey on the condition of learners and households to determine if they have online access, and to check their preferred modes of learning. “This will be used as a basis [for] teachers and school leaders to structure their strategy of delivering education,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio also explained that DepEd has prepared other alternative delivery modes that will cater to the different needs of learners.
Aside from DepEd Commons, the online learning platform of DepEd that has over 6 million unique users as of May 4, San Antonio noted that the agency has prepared other materials for students who may not have access to online learning.
San Antonio said that DepEd will be offering multi-modal delivery approaches to learning that schools and students can use in the coming school year. “We’d like to assure that we’re not only using [an] online platform because we know that there are many students who do not have access to technology,” he explained, adding that DepEd has “prepared printed instructional packets or self-learning kits so they can continue learning even without access to technology.”
Overall, DepEd assured that it will continue to make the necessary adjustments based on emerging needs and the situation in the coming weeks or months. “Aside from from delivery of formal instruction, our Learning Continuity Plan also prioritizes health, safety, and welfare of learners and teachers,” Malaluan said.
He added that DepEd will continue to develop, enrich, and look for new ways for students to learn, so as to ensure continued learning process amid the pandemic.
For private schools, DepEd said that they can implement online or other alternative options since they usually follow their own school calendars, but they have to inform DepEd regional offices for changes in schedule and other related matters.