CHED: ‘Flexible learning’ not purely online; aims to decongest classrooms amid physical distancing protocol

Published May 11, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has clarified that implementing flexible learning amid the pandemic aims to decongest classrooms and not to promote pure online classes.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III  (Prof Popoy De Vera FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III

“I think there is a misconception that when you go flexible learning, there will be no classes inside schools. That is not true,” CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III said in an interview on Monday (May 11).

“The intention of flexible learning is to decongest the classroom, to reduce the number of students who go to the classroom at one time so that social distancing and the health of the students can be protected,” De Vera explained.

Flexible learning, De Vera earlier said, is not equivalent to online learning alone but also employs other methods to deliver lessons to students without internet connectivity such as take-home activities and learning packets to be submitted upon the lifting of the quarantine.

“It does not have to be purely online, it can include an offline system. The idea is you decongest the school because you cannot go back to the usual classroom set-up with 50 students because of the COVID-19 problem,” he said.

“You have to redesign it. If you ever have to hold classes inside classrooms, there should be fewer students and social distancing protocols should be implemented while flexible learning continues,” De Vera added.

According to De Vera, the universities should design the delivery of their flexible learning based on the situation of the students, the faculty, as well as the school for a more inclusive learning process amid the health crisis.

“Hindi natin papayagan na ang mga eskwelahan ay gumamit ng system na naagrabiyado ang mga estudyante,” De Vera said.

(We will not allow schools to use systems that will put students at a disadvantage.)

The CHED earlier announced that it will be launching within the month a massive training program for teachers on how to conduct flexible learning.

“We are also helping universities. We were discussing with them how to set up their learning management system so that they can manage classes and students under a more flexible arrangement.” the CHED chief said.