DepEd prepares dry-run for blended learning

To see how blended learning will actually proceed when classes formally open in the upcoming school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) is preparing for a dry-run in August.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones (SCREENSHOT / RTVM / MANILA BULLETIN)
Education Secretary Leonor Briones (SCREENSHOT / RTVM / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We are preparing for a dry-run by the first week of August to demonstrate how blended learning will actually proceed,” DepEd said. Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in a recent online press conference, assured that opening of classes for SY 2020-2021 will push through as scheduled on August 24.

Since face-to-face conduct of classes will be prohibited, Briones said that DepEd has prepared “different learning delivery modalities to suit every learner’s need and capacity.” 

Briones explained that distance learning and blended learning “have long been implemented” in the country’s Alternative Learning System (ALS). “Now, DepEd is running a series of dry run simulations to ensure the efficiency of this modality once applied in the public school system,” she added.

This early, Briones said that some public schools have already conducted dry-run simulations of blended or distance learning. For instance, the Schools Division Office (SDO) Navotas in the National Capital Region (NCR) is currently undergoing simulation of distance learning modality.

From June 29 to July 3, DepEd said that three schools participated in the pilot simulation which include the Bagumbayan Elementary School, Dagat-dagatan Elementary School, and Navotas National High School.

During the online press con, Fatie Robles, a teacher in Bagumbayan ES, shared the results of the dry-run of kindergarten classes. She explained that kindergarten learning activity packets will be made available for the pupils. There will also be guides for parents and learning for home-based learning. 

Dagat-dagatan ES, on the other hand, carries out a simulation of Grade 6 classes under the guidance of Dr. Floretta Quijano and the Navotas HS models how to carry out blended learning using modules and online classes under the supervision of Dr. Maria Cristina Robles.

In the simulation, SDO Navotas featured the “Navoschool-in-a-Box” which is funded by the local government unit (LGU). This learner packet contains textbooks, self-learning modules, activity sheets, and school supplies. The LGU provided P11 million for this project.

Other generous stakeholders also provided other items to be included in the box such as hygiene kits, toys for kindergarten (donated by Philippine Toy Library), among other needs. 

From July 20 to 31, all schools will conduct simulation activities in order to ensure effective implementation of distance learning in SDO Navotas.

In SDO Alaminos Pangasinan in Region I, the simulation was initially for six select schools to showcase how online learning or modular learning or both can be smoothly delivered.

“Process observers and documenters are assigned to note details including the distribution and retrieval of learning resources to and from the learners,” DepEd said.  “Identified areas of concern shall be the focus of improvement for the remaining schools,” it added.

Currently, DepEd said that thematic modules are being developed under the SDO's “Project Write Write.Write.” The printing of these self-learning materials will be taken from the Special Education Fund (SEF) and Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) of schools. 

“These will supplement the alternative delivery modalities (ADM), alternative instructional resources (AIR), and school-harvested learning modules (LM) to help ensure the delivery of modular distance learning adopted by most of our schools,” DepEd said. 

DepEd noted that findings from these simulations “shall be used to determine the readiness of our schools for August 24.”