Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Sunday said the Department of Education (DepEd) should institute mechanisms to check whether students are learning enough under its distance learning setup.
Gatchalian said some teachers have expressed frustration that even though some students may not have formally dropped out of class, they have barely shown up in online classes or hardly submitted their class assignments.
While the DepEd reported that there’s no clear indicator of massive dropouts among learners since they either shifted from one distance learning mode to another, the senator said there should be equal focus in tracking their learning progress.
The Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture said it is alarming to find out having a high proportion of students who are going to be unprepared for their next school level.
If this becomes the case, Gatchalian said the entire school year would end up being a “waste of both time and resources.”
That is why, the senator said, it is crucial for the department to be able to identify the areas where students struggle so they could be targeted for remedial programs.
“Our goal is to make sure that our students are learning and are not regressing in their knowledge under the distance learning,” Gatchalian said.
“That’s why assessment tools are very much important to be able to identify where and what aspect do we need to help them out,” he said.
He pointed out Filipino students are already struggling prior to the COVID-19 pandemic as shown by three global assessments—the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the 2019 Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) and the 2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.
All three studies showed a pattern of Filipino students struggling to master basic competencies and lagging behind their global peers, the senator lamented.
The lawmaker said it is also imperative for the agency to assess the effectiveness of the alternative learning modalities being used, including modular distance and online learning, and television and radio-based instruction.