Despite implementing distance learning on a massive scale for the first time, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that it is “satisfied” with the outcome of the first grading period which ended last month.
Asked for an assessment of the first quarter under distance learning, Education Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado said that the DepEd is “satisfied with the outcome of the first quarter of the current school year.”
“The accomplishments from the first quarter have shown that distance learning can be possible throughout the country, with the assistance of the local government units and valued partners,” San Antonio said. He added that the success of the first quarter was “because of the hard work from our teachers, the determination of our learners, and the unwavering support from our partners.”
In response to the ongoing health situation in the country, DepEd moved the opening of classes for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 to Oct. 5. Remote enrollment started in June and late enrollees were accepted until November last year.
DepEd enrollment data as of Nov. 11 showed that are 25.05 million students enrolled in public and private schools, including non-formal education (Alternative Learning System or ALS). This number, DepEd said, represents 90.2 percent of the total enrollment in 2019 which is higher than the adjusted enrollment target.
The reduction in enrollment, DepEd said, was experienced mainly in private schools where enrollment reached only 51.7 percent of last year’s enrollment. However, enrollment in public schools for formal education increased by 2.4 percent than last school year’s enrollment.
“We would like to highlight and appreciate their help, especially in providing distance learning materials such as learning gadgets, laptops, printers, bond papers, and even cash assistance to the field offices of the DepEd to ensure that teachers, parents, and learners will be able to access education in these trying times,” San Antonio said.
During the first quarter, San Antonio explained that “academic ease” was also introduced to the students and teachers to give them enough time to adjust themselves in coping with the blended learning setup for this school year. “We are also happy that the majority of the people are satisfied with distance learning based on PUBLiCUS Asia, Inc.’s survey,” he added.
As it opens 2021 with a new grading period, the DepEd said it will continue to address the challenges in the current learning setup brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help students and teachers under the new learning setup, DepEd adjusted the first quarter of the school year from Nov. 28 to Dec. 12. The succeeding quarters were also adjusted in which the second quarter started on Jan. 4 and ends Feb. 27; the third quarter will be from March 1 to April 24; and fourth quarter is set from April 26 to June 11.