Teachers group slams changes in assessing students’ performance

A federation of teachers organizations slammed the “logic” behind the move of the Department of Education (DepEd) to adjust the assessment system for students this school year - noting that this is a “vile and unfair” presumption against their integrity.

While it welcomes the “more relaxed” assessment method to gauge the performance of students under distance learning, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines said that this should not be grounded on cheating and dishonesty concerns.

“We find this to be a vile and unfair presumption against students’ integrity, especially as it embarrassingly bares DepEd’s ignorance on the more important reasons behind dishonesty in school work,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.

As an education agency, Basilio said that DepEd should “acknowledge and respond to where the system falls short in assisting learners’ process of appreciating the value of education” instead of assuming that they will “cheat” while studying at home. 

In a virtual press briefing early this week, the Curriculum and Instruction unit of DepEd headed by Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio announced that there will be changes in assessing the performance of students this year in the absence of face-to-face conduct of classes.

In particular, the students will be assessed mostly through written outputs and performance tasks instead of conducting tests on each grading period. 

For ACT, the rationale behind revising assessment and performance indicators should be in line with the “aims of education and then retooling our evaluation systems accordingly.” 

In order to deliver responsive and quality education to children and youth even amid the pandemic, ACT urged DepEd officials to “take their efforts a notch higher by also reorienting and grounding the curriculum to the people’s needs, capacities, and aspirations.”

Specifically, ACT reiterated its demand for DepEd to integrate pandemic and COVID-19 education in the curriculum as a “vital measure to ensure that education will do its role in equipping students with knowledge and skills to confront their realities and contribute in resolving issues affecting them and their communities.”

Basilio said that these will then serve as a basis in crafting relevant evaluation schemes that directly benefit not only students but the entire nation.