The Department of Education (DepEd) clarified that the proposed “no periodical test” policy to be implemented this upcoming school year is not mandatory for schools under the private education system.
“In private schools, as what we normally do, we strongly encourage them but it is never prescriptive for them,” said DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio during this week’s “Handang Isip, Handa Bukas” virtual press briefing.
DepEd made this clarification following the statement issued by the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) citing that “no periodical exams” policy in DepEd should not be made to “apply mandatorily to the private school system.”
Composed of more than 2,500 educational institutions in the country and represented by its five member-associations, COCOPEA serves as the “unifying voice of private education” in the Philippines.
DepEd said that a “no periodic exam” policy is being pushed for this school year for students at the basic education level.
Periodical examinations are part of the assessment tools used to evaluate the academic performance of a student.
This is taken by the students every quarter within the school year.
However, the implementation of distance/blended learning this school year 2020-2021 raises concerns on the credibility of the assessment tool since the exams will be taken at home by the students.
Without the teacher’s presence, it is also feared that students might resort to “distance cheating” while taking the test.
More than the issue of distance cheating, San Antonio said that the periodic exams, which measure the student’s acquisition of content standard as articulated in the curriculum guide, “could be addressed by summative and formative tasks, which are more inclusive and authentic in gauging learning progress.”
Despite the absence of periodical tests, San Antonio assured that students will still undergo other types of assessments.
“Regardless of the modality in distance learning, there will be assessment for students,” he said.
This school year, San Antonio said “portfolio assessments” based on what is required of the students in different learning areas will be used to evaluate their academic performance.
Even before the pandemic, San Antonio said that alternative assessments were already in place.
“These are usually implemented for students under the Alternative Learning System and homeschooling program,” he added.
DepEd’s decision to do away with periodic tests is as a response to extraordinary conditions brought about by the COVID-19.
“We have to be creative and flexible in implementing summative assessments without sacrificing assessment credibility,” he said.