By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The adaptive learning methods for learners amid the COVID-19 pandemic to be implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) gets support from a group promoting children’s rights and welfare.
Save the Children Philippines (SCP) expressed support for the implementation of alternative learning methods for children and youth amid the crisis, noting that DepEd’s use adaptive learning methods will help “ensure continuity of education and protection of learners” during this time.
For SCP, the COVID-19 pandemic should not be a “hindrance” in providing quality education and a better future for children. “We must make a concerted effort to make sure that children are not deprived of their basic right to learn and to be protected at the same time,” the group said in a statement.
SCP Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot also called for the public’s support – especially the education sector – for the training of teachers and non-teaching personnel to handle new learning methods for the smooth implementation of DepEd’s adaptive systems, and address the emerging needs of learners including low numeracy and literacy skills as cited by the 2018 results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
“As a non-negotiable basic human right, children should have continued access to education, even in times of emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” Muyot, a former Undersecretary of DepEd, said. “But we must always remember that children’s safety is paramount and make sure that they have a safe and inclusive learning environment,” he added.
The SCP said it has been working closely with the DepEd-together with teachers, and education stakeholders for the implementation of its Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) and COVID-19 Response Plans to ensure continued learning and utmost safety of the students, including marginalized groups of children such as those with disabilities, children of indigenous families, those living in hard-to-reach areas, and out of school children and youth.
“For many children, school is a safe haven and protective environment,” SCP said. “However, the COVID-19 pandemic is shifting children’s learning from school to home setting,” it added.
Learning in a household setting
To ensure that children’s right to learn is supported even in a household setting, SCP Basic Education Advisor Sierra Paraan emphasized the importance of providing support to parents, caregivers, and elder siblings in the effective implementation of adaptive learning methods.
“Educators such as parents and caregivers should have the capacity and sufficient support so they can effectively deliver new learning methods which must be gender-sensitive, inclusive, and should integrate psychosocial and socio-emotional support for learners during the pandemic,” Paraan said.
Earlier, DepEd has announced that the school year (SY) 2020-2021 will formally start on August 24. While private schools may be allowed to open earlier, DepEd noted that no face-to-face classes will be allowed.
This school year, both public and private schools are enjoined to adopt various learning delivery options such as, but not limited to, face-to-face, blended learning, and distance learning. Homeschooling and other modes of delivery shall be implemented depending on the local COVID Risk Severity Classification and compliance with minimum health standards.
The DepEd also allows schools to decide on the use of learning methods depending on the situation in areas where schools are located.