The Department of Education (DepEd) assured that the alternative learning modalities to be used in its Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) will be “responsive” to the context and available resources of the schools and students nationwide.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that the LCP of DepEd is not a “one-size-fits all-policy” and was designed to be flexible to cater to the various needs and capacities of schools and learners.
“What we want the parents, teachers and learners to understand is that our LCP can be contextualized based on the needs,” Briones explained in Filipino. “We don’t have a specific formula for this,” she added.
Citing inputs from the Southeast Asian Ministers Education online conference she attended recently, Briones shared that other countries are also implementing blended learning modalities.
“We discovered that almost all countries in Southeast Asia are using blended approach but the combination of the modalities are different depending on the context,” she added.
Given the challenges and disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Briones also emphasized that for this school year, DepEd will not implement a “one-size-fits all-policy” and it will adjust policies, if needed.
At the local level
Briones noted that DepEd local officials and school heads play a very crucial role in the operationalization of the LCP. “At the level of the region, at the level of the school, they will be the ones who will ‘blend’ the LCP and they will determine which modalities would be the most effective to address the needs of their teachers and learners,” she added.
The BE-LCP, Briones explained, serves as the basic framework for school opening and the local DepEd officials are given free rein to make adjustments in the learning continuity plan to make it suitable for the needs of the students and teachers. “We are encouraging them to come out with their own versions of the LCP,” she said.
Since the LCP can be contextualized, Briones said that there would be at least 17 versions or at least one per region. At the division or school level, there may be more versions since there are 47,000 schools under DepEd.
Earlier, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines described DepEd’s BE-LCP as “myopic” and “out-of-touch” for failing to truly address the specific needs of learners - especially those who are financially struggling and those in the poor and far-flung communities.
Instead of that, ACT urges DepEd to implement a temporary, non-formal adaptive learning program which features “adaptive characteristics” that would enable children to cope with the crisis and will employ all available and accessible modalities with multi-stakeholder support and participation.