Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Tuesday clarified the Department of Education (DepEd) is not claiming victory on the success of blended or distance learning which is currently implemented this school year in lieu of in-person classes.
Briones, during the Palace virtual presser with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, said that DepEd is claiming victory for the resumption of classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic despite the opposition coming from various quarters.
“We are not claiming success of blended learning which is a learning modality older than I am,” Briones said. In blended learning, she explained that various techniques are utilized and our teachers and “even those who are retirable are familiar with blended learning.”
Classes in public schools nationwide opened on Monday, Oct. 5. Of the 24.7 million total enrollees, 22.5 million students are in public schools and 2.1 million are in private schoo
As directed by President Duterte, there should be no face-to-face classes this school year. Instead, various alternative learning delivery modalities such as modular (printed and offline); online and television or radio-based instruction are used in public schools. These can also be combined or “blended” depending on the capacity and resources available.
Briones said that after the school opening, DepEd will now focus on the learning process. “Right now, we are monitoring whatever is happening,” she said. “Monitoring is there and we resolve the problems, the challenges as they come – we don’t wait for the end of a particular period,” she added.
Assessment of the approach, Briones explained, will also be undertaken. “In a month or two, before the end of the year or even earlier, we will have a formal assessment [of blended learning],” she added.
Teachers and youth groups on Tuesday countered the “great victory” claim of the Department of Education (DepEd) on the first day of classes because there is “nothing victorious about the school opening” – with education stakeholders struggling with the new ways of teaching and learning.
For the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines and the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), Briones’ statement is “premature” and “outrageous.”
ACT said that the claim is baseless because the reports from the ground confirm the opposite. For the group, the “victory claim” is nothing but “premature, presumptuous, even dangerous” because such can only either be based on “questionable standards or an outright denial of the problems” on the ground.