More than #AcademicBreak, the Department of Education (DepEd) maintained that the implementation of #AcademicEase measures is what most students would need at this time.
“Iyong palaging sinasabi po na academic break ay panawagan ng mga kabataan. Pero po, tayo naman sa Kagawaran ng Edukasyon ay mayroon din tayong sinasabing academic ease (The academic break is what the youth is calling for. But, we in the Department of Education, also have what we call academic ease),” DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday, April 13.
While some students are pushing for #AcademicBreak, San Antonio said that there are also some learners who would want to continue their studies.
“Naniniwala po kasi kami lalo na rin iyong ibang mga mag-aaral na nagti-text din sa amin na hindi naman kailangang itigil ang pagpapatuto (We believe, especially those other students who are also texting us, that there is no need to stop learning),” he said.
“Ang kailangan ay mas maging considerate tayo sa mga sitwasyon ng bawat bata (What is needed is for us to be more considerate of each child’s situation),” San Antonio added.
A youth group and other netizens are calling on the government, particularly the DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to declare academic break at all levels following the surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country.
A group of teachers also pushed for the suspension of online classes in areas under lockdown or urgently provide gadgets and internet support to students and teachers in aid of learning continuity.
However, San Antonio maintained that lack of gadgets is not enough reason to stop learning since there are other learning delivery modalities that are available such as the printed Self-Learning Modules (SLMs).
San Antonio also noted that teachers are constantly reminded not to be too strict when it comes to academic requirements and other homework.
“Ang sinasabi rin po natin sa mga kasamang guro ay huwag masyadong mahigpit sa mga deadlines kasi nga po nauunawaan natin na masyadong mapanghamon ang mga ginagawa at ang iba ay nagsasabi na masyadong overloaded iyong mga kailangang isumite ng mga bata (We also tell our fellow teachers not to be too strict with deadlines because we understand that what is being done is too challenging and others say that the children are too overloaded),” San Antonio said.
San Antonio said that DepEd has already released guidelines on the implementation of academic ease measures to help and support those learners who are having difficulties under the current distance or blended learning set-up.
“Kaya po ang ipinapakiusap natin at kasama po ito sa nailabas nating guidelines na huwag masyadong mahigpit sa mga deadlines at palaging imu-monitor kung kailangang may dagdag na suporta (That is what we are asking for and it is included in the guidelines we have issued not to be too strict with deadlines and always monitor if additional support is needed),” he explained.
Currently, San Antonio said that many teachers are already doing home visitation and at do personal follow-up so they can provide guidance to students who need it.