By Hannah L. Torregoza
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on May 6, Wednesday, pushed for more home-based learning schemes as “learning from home” should now be regarded as the “new normal” in schools once classes open for School Year (SY) 2020-2021.
Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture, said the time leading to the opening of classes should focus on preparing students, teachers, and parents on using different tools for home-based learning.
“Learning from home. This is the ‘new normal’ that…will ensure the safety and continued education of the country’s more than 27 million learners amid the threat of COVID-19,” Gatchalian said.
Since the government will still impose a social distancing policy after the enhanced community quarantine, the senator said “back-to-school” preparations should also consider other mechanisms where learners do not have to report to classrooms.
He reiterated that students can continue their lessons at home with the help of flexible learning modalities, including online platforms, television, radio, and printed materials.
The Department of Education (DepEd), he said, can reach all learners through a mix of digital, low-tech, and no-tech methods, especially those in the far-flung areas without access to the internet.
Since not all learners have connectivity and available gadgets for online-based learning, the lawmaker also suggested using television and radio to reach more learners effectively.
He said DepEd can build partnerships with state-run media organizations, such as the People’s Television Network (PTV-4) and the Radyo ng Bayan, to air these learning materials.
“Marami pa rin sa ating mga mag-aaral sa buong bansa ang hindi nakakagamit ng internet, kaya malaki ang potensyal ng radyo at telebisyon upang maipagtuloy natin ang edukasyon sa loob ng ating mga tahanan (Many of our students across the country still do not have access to the internet. That’s why radio and TV have a huge potential of providing education inside our homes),” Gatchalian said.
“Sa pagpasok ng SY 2020-2021, mahalagang magamit natin lahat ng paraaan upang maipagpatuloy ang edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan at mapanatili ang kanilang kaligtasan (As we enter SY 2020-2021, it’s important that we use all the necessary means to pursue the education of our children and, at the same time, ensure their safety),” he stressed.