QC gov't prepares for blended learning in public schools

By Chito Chavez

The Quezon City (QC) government on Friday (May 29) said measures are being prepared for the introduction of the blended system of learning for basic education to ensure the safety of students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Joy Belmonte (Mayor Joy Belmonte Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Mayor Joy Belmonte (Mayor Joy Belmonte Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Mayor Joy Belmonte said the city government is exploring various options to provide the students with an uninterrupted learning process while keeping kindergarten to grade 12 students safe from the

The city government’s localized Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) and interventions were anchored on a survey conducted by the city’s Schools Division Office among 65,283 students from various academic levels.

Data revealed that 48,769 or 74.6 percent of those surveyed prefer face-to-face classes while the remaining 25.4 percent prefer a blended system of learning whether online or modular.

In the same survey it was indicated that many of the students have limited access to electronic devices and internet connection.

Based on the survey, Belmonte said the city government will be using a combination of various alternative learning options for the approaching school year, which is scheduled to start on Aug. 24 as announced by the Department of Education (DepEd).

She added that the city government plans to use the modular system for kindergarten to grade 6 pupils, -- where printed learning modules will be provided to the students and distributed to them through identified learning hubs -- while electronic devices preloaded with modules will be provided for higher levels -- reducing the need for internet -- as this is a common concern among teachers, parents, and students.

“A more detailed school-based mapping will be conducted to identify the most appropriate learning modality considering the context of the students and the other stakeholders,” Belmonte said.

After the DepEd issued a memorandum, Aly Medalla, the city’s education affairs head, said that instead of the usual Brigada Eskuwela before the start of classes, the city government will prepare its educational system for the new normal by realigning funds for the purchase of learning tools and electronic gadgets that will be assigned to students and teachers.

“This will be a two-way change for both students and teachers because not all of them have Internet or gadgets that are suitable for online education,” Medalla said.

The city government has also engaged with major telecommunication companies to provide the majority of its students affordable and more widely accessible internet service, if the need arises.

Belmonte said the resumption of face-to-face classes shall take into consideration the local risk-severity projections issued by the Department of Health and Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Earlier, President Duterte rejected face-to-face classes until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found.

While face-to-face classes are suspended, the city government, in partnership with the City Schools Division Office, has started preparing the school facilities where preemptive measures will be implemented to facilitate the safe return of students and personnel to the schools.

These include reducing the number of students in a classroom to 15, to ensure their adherence to physical distancing.

To maintain physical distancing, Belmonte said markers will be used and face masks and hygiene kits will be provided to all students.

She added tat constant health checks, as well as the continuous upgrading of wash facilities and school clinics, will be made.

Quezon City has 432,667 students enrolled in the public school
system, and about 15,423 teaching and non-teaching personnel.