More than 300 public schools have held dry runs using various alternative learning modalities across basic education levels as the Department of Education (DepEd) intends to see how blended and distance learning will actually proceed when classes start on Aug. 24.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face conduct of classes will be prohibited this coming school year, and to ensure education will continue, DepEd will implement blended and distance learning in which modalities were designed to suit every needs and capacities of students.
DepEd noted that blended and distance learning have long been implemented in the country through the Alternative Learning System.
This school year, blended and distance learning will be used as a major component for delivery of education.
To ensure the efficiency of this modality once applied in the public school system, DepEd has been running a series of dry run simulations per region.
“We have not monitored major challenges,” DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said.
“The dry run results are very inspiring,” San Antonio said. “Our SDSs (schools division superintendents), principals, and fellow teachers have been able to demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness and harnessing critical support for stakeholders, particularly LGU (local government unit) leaders.”
Latest data from DepEd showed that 345 schools have conducted blended learning dry-runs per region.
So far, Region 7 (Central Visayas) has the highest number of schools that conducted dry runs at 169 followed by Region 3 (Central Luzon) with 49 and Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) with 38.
In Region 4-A (Calabarzon), 37 schools have conducted dry runs; 10 in Region 11 (Davao region); eight in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); seven in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); six in Region 12 (Socsargen); five in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas); four in National Capital Region (NCR) and Region 13I (Caraga); three in Regions 4-B (Mimaropa) and 6 (Western Visayas); and two in Region 1 (Ilocos).
Schools in Regions 11 (Zamboanga Peninsula) and 5 (Bicol) have yet to conduct dry runs as of July 30.
During the dry runs, blended and distance learning modalities were simulated for various basic education grade levels.
Teachers and students attended simulation classes to check if their preferred alternative learning delivery will encounter any issues or problems.
This school year, DepEd said that lessons will be delivered to the students without physically going to schools through online learning resources such as the DepEd Commons; television or radio-based instruction; and printed or digital modules delivered to their homes or picked up by their parents at designated places within coordinated schedules.
Based on the results of a survey conducted by DepEd for school opening, the majority of parents — around nine million –prefer modular over other options. DepEd has been focusing on self-learning modules as the primary learning tool that can cater to all students, which can then be blended with other learning delivery modalities that the student has access to.