Education During A Global Pandemic

June 16, 2020 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

By Jerry R. Tamayo

As of this writing the lethal phantom Corona Virus Disease-19 (Covid-19) pandemic claimed 413,648 people’s lives, 7,318,131 cases, and 3,602,603 recovered worldwide (June 10, 2020

Before the May 26, 2020 declaration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that there would be no face-to-face school classes in the country because the deadly airborne virus has no vaccine yet, several quarters have been rattled while some public  figures have their opinions on how to wiggle out from the deadly claws of Convid-19.

Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones, however, clarified on May 28, 2020 meeting with Duterte and the officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases that there would be “no face-to-face classes until safe,” a position she said was consistent with the President’s remarks on May 26.

The pronouncement of the Ilonggo lady Secretary did not meet any opposition with the president and the members of the IATF.

Briones said the department can still provide learning opportunities to the students without requiring them to come to the school but learn through blend and distance learnings.

This included online classes, printed modules, and lessons delivered on television and radio, the education official said.

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition said it would comply with the DepEd directive on the school opening “as long as the safety of teachers and learners will be ensured, especially when physical interaction will be necessary.”

In a Senate hearing, local officials expressed concern about the opening and ending of classes targeted by Briones amid the continued threat of Covid-19.

The August 24 opening is three months late from its original schedule on June 1 as customarily done.

Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco Jr., who is president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, feared on that Senate hearing, the arrival of repatriated overseas workers who will be bringing the virus that could inflict their countrymen.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) was skeptical on the planned Dep-Ed’s distance learning – particularly those needing online connectivity.

Hardly seem viable” due to inadequate technological infrastructure at both the school level and in the homes of teachers and students,” declared by ACT.

As the Dep-Ed brass prepare for the August 24 school year, Briones ordered primary and secondary public school teachers all over the country to render services, whether physical or virtual, starting June 1 this year to assist in the enrolment period.

They will also undergo capacity building programs on alternative delivery modes of learning such as the use of the DepEd’s Commons.

One of the strategies to avoid the convergence of students in the four-wall of the classroom is the Common.

It is an online platform for mentors to support distance learning modalities. It was designed as a direct solution to give access to online review materials and Open Educational Resources (OER) during the hiatus of the classes due to the Covid-19 and other similar circumstances.

OERs as part of Commons are authored by stakeholders in the DepEd who are subject experts, properly cited and acknowledged. They can retain, revise, reuse, redistribute, and remix the content by blending it with a learning management system to deliver a distance learning modality.

Education must continue even in times of crisis, whether it may be a calamity, disaster, emergency, quarantine or even war,” the DepEd Secretary earlier declared.

Entry filed under: News.

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