By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday, June 5, welcomed the support coming from various groups, particularly on the implementation of its Basic Education, Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) to be implemented when classes formally start on August 24.
“We thank our partners for their valuable inputs and support to the Department’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan for SY 2020-2021,” DepEd said in a statement.
“Through our ‘bayanihan,’ we hope that education will bring hope and normalcy to the lives of our learners,” it added.
In a separate statement issued earlier, the members Working Group on Education for Economic Development (Ed4ED) expressed support to DepEd’s BE-LCP which is considered the major response of the agency to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The group said that the BE-LCP is DepEd’s commitment to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of learners, teachers, and personnel “while finding flexible, innovative, and inclusive solutions for education to continue amidst the crisis in the coming school year, and in the future.”
The BE-LCP, the group said, is a result of a “participatory process that consolidates inputs from an unprecedented number of diverse stakeholders” from the academe, media, industry groups, non-government organizations (NGOs), and private individuals.
Given this, the Ed4ED called on the public to help DepEd in the implementation of the BE-LCP.
The group also expressed support to the ongoing conduct of “Brigada Eskwela” and the “Oplan Balik Eskwela” which are major school opening programs of DepEd and committed to participate in the disseminating information and help clarify the nature and mechanisms of the BE-LCP.
“Let us demonstrate that with community cooperation, we can address pressing challenges and ensure the continuity of learning of young Filipinos,” the Ed4ED added.
The Philippine National Research Center for Teacher Quality (RCTQ) which is a partnership between the Philippine Normal University and the University of New England Australia also expressed support to DepEd and teachers on the resumption of classes for SY 2020-2021.
In a statement, RCTQ said that it supports DepEd as it transitions to the “new normal” when classes formally start in August.
“School children and young people should be given equitable access to quality education, including learning resources, amid adversity,” the RCTQ said.
RCTQ added that it is one with the whole nation in standing behind all teachers, who are at the frontlines of education. “More than ever, they need to be fully supported on all fronts as they carry the immense responsibility of ensuring learning continuity during the most challenging time,” it explained.
Like DepEd, RCTQ also believes that education must continue.
“With everyone’s support, DepEd and all the hardworking and committed teachers nationwide, can make this happen,” it added.
Earlier, Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) also expressed support to the LCP. “Education is an investment for the future, and we cannot allow this crisis to steal the futures of our students and nation as it has our present,” PBED said.
While it recognizes the government’s concern over the health and well-being of students and their families, PBED expressed support to the original decision of the government to open classes in August “assuming no significant worsening of conditions occurs” with schools strictly implementing appropriate physical distancing measures in coordination with their local governments.
The DepEd announced that the opening of classes for the basic education shall be on August 24, 2020 and will end on April 30, 2021.
The opening of private schools, DepEd explained, “will be allowed within the period provided by law” but they have to submit their school learning continuity plan.nDepEd said that no “face-to-face classes will be allowed earlier than August 24, 2020” and from August 24, face-to-face learning “shall only be allowed when the local risk severity grading permits, and subject to compliance with minimum health standards.”
The incoming SY will feature the adoption of various learning delivery options such as but not limited to face-to-face, blended learnings, distance learnings, homeschooling, and other modes of delivery shall be implemented depending on the local COVID Risk Severity Classification and compliance with minimum health standards.
Some teachers groups along with various stakeholders such as parents, guardians, and learners continue to express reservations on school opening in August citing health and safety as well as the readiness of DepEd and its schools to implement alternative learning modalities.