Following reports of students having difficulties in submitting learning activity sheets and modules, the Department of Education (DepEd) urged schools and teachers to be more flexible.
“We allow flexibility,” DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio told the Manila Bulletin. “We also encourage extra consideration for learners,” he added.
DepEd opened the School Year (SY) 2020-2021 in October using a distance learning approach to ensure the safety of students and teachers amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country.
In the current learning set-up, the 22 million enrollees in public schools this school year were asked to choose whether they would want to learn their lessons using printed or offline modular learning, online learning, TV and/or radio-based instruction or “blended learning.” Printed modular, DepEd said, was the “most preferred” modality by both parents and students.
In an online press conference on Friday, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) pointed out the “deteriorating” participation of students in distance learning activities.
The group pointed out that many teachers are “having a time” computing the grades of their students during the First Quarter because they were unable to complete the requirements needed.
“Many students have barely shown up in online classes or have hardly submitted their class requirements,” ACT Secretary-General Raymond Basilio said. “They may not have formally dropped out of class, but they are essentially not participating and not learning – how do we see this situation now?” he added.
As early as December, ACT has already warned against a “looming massive dropping out” of students as indicated by reports from its regional leaders about unclaimed modules, unanswered retrieved modules and dwindling online class attendance.
Citing a survey conducted by Movement for Safe, Equitable, Quality and Relevant Education (SEQuRe Educ Movement), ACT said that that “54% of teacher respondents attest that sizable portions of their classes were not keeping pace with the lessons.”
DepEd denied allegations of massive dropouts under distance learning. “There has been no clear indicator of massive dropout attributed to blended learning, based on the assessment conducted by our field officials,” the agency said in a statement issued Jan. 28.
When it comes to the teachers who are reportedly having difficulties in computing the grades of their students, San Antonio said DepEd will look into it. “We will check with the regional directors about the exact situation in their areas relative to 1st quarter grades,” he ended.