DepEd cites importance of support programs for students

As the country’s educational system transitions to distance learning this school year (SY) 2020-2021, the Department of Education (DepEd) enjoined all its regional offices (ROs) and schools division offices (SDOs) to ensure that the necessary support and assistance are given to the students.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the country, DepEd will implement distance or blended learning when classes formally open in public schools on Oct. 5. 

However, some students may have a hard time adjusting to the new alternative learning delivery modalities to be used this school year. Thus, schools are urged to provide the necessary interventions to help ensure that students will be able to cope with the challenges ahead. 

As a response, the DepEd-Region X (Northern Mindanao) has tapped efforts of its community members to help ensure that students will be given assistance as they navigate to distance learning.

DepEd Region X Regional Director Arturo Bayocot noted the importance of providing the children with the necessary support not only from their teachers and parents but also from their classmates.

“Our students who will be studying in their homes will need a support system, and only when they can find their classmates within the locality or within the neighborhood that we can help them boost their confidence to learn through distance learning,” Bayocot explained.

Through the support of the Regional Development Council (RDC), in coordination with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), DepEd Region X was able to forge memoranda of agreement with 14 local television stations and 39 local radio stations. The initiative will support the DepEd’s radio-based and TV-based instructions as alternative delivery modalities to distance learning.

DepEd NorMin also holds its Facebook-livestreamed regular program dubbed as BigaTEN DepEd X, Talakayan sa PIA, and other media programs as its Information, Education, Communication, and Advocacy (IECA) mechanisms to strengthen its advocacy campaigns. 

Bayocot noted that from the last week of July to the first week of August, the RO and all the 14 SDOs were able to conduct various initiatives and activities, such as dry runs in schools, parents’ orientation, media fora, media partnerships, development/quality assurance/monitoring of self-learning modules (SLMs), conversion of SLMs into radio and TV learning episodes and digital and interactive formats, and organization of classes.

The RO and the SDOs, Bayocot explained, further conducted capacity building of teachers and school leaders, regional and divisional monitoring and supervision, continuous health education on the management of emerging infectious diseases, continuous IECA, and recruitment/selection/hiring of teaching and non-teaching personnel.

Bayocot noted that DepEd Region X continues to monitor the implementation of its learning continuity plans (LCP) and “will be ready to address emerging issues and gaps” to ensure the attainment of the DepEd’s quest of education continuity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.