Senator urges DepEd to present action plan for ‘blended learning’

As the county’s educational system prepares to adopt blended learning methods to protect students from Covid-19, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to lay down an action plan to address concerns of Filipinos in preparation for the forthcoming school year. 

Go also reminded concerned government agencies to work together to provide for alternative, remote learning methods that can ensure education access even for students who have no Internet connection.

Meron pa rin sa ating mga estudyante ang walang access sa Internet. Dapat siguraduhin na mabigyan pa rin sila ng oportunidad para maituloy ang kanilang pag-aaral,” he said. 

Kaya naman po hinihikayat ko ang DepEd na gawing mas accessible at inclusive ang kanilang mga programa para sa mga kabataan kahit saan mang parte ng bansa sa pamamagitan ng online at offline methods of teaching,” he added.

A global framework formulated by the United Nations Children’s Fund; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; and the World Bank recommends that, for the safe reopening of classes, focus should also be on other learning modalities to reach areas without Internet connection. 

Go earlier recommended to the education sector to maximize the use of available media, such as television and radio, to facilitate distance learning among students.

May available multimedia platforms na pwedeng gamitin at airtime sa radyo at telebisyon na dapat allotted for educational programs. Ayon sa batas, pwede po itong gamitin bilang alternative mode of teaching and learning,” he stated. 

The senator cited Republic Act 8370, also known as the Children’s Television Act of 1997, which requires a minimum of 15 percent of a network’s daily total airtime to programs that further children’s positive development. 

Meanwhile, state media company Intercontinental Broadcasting Corp. (IBC-13) has offered to use its television facilities as a remote learning platform. The proposal should enable DepEd to air curriculum-based programs when the school year reopens. 

Sa planong ‘blended learning’ ng DepEd, dapat masiguro na hindi lamang online learning ang focus nito kundi pati na rin ang ibang modalities na hindi nangangailangan ng internet connection,” Go said.

The senator added that teachers must be given sufficient training in the use of various multimedia platforms for teaching. Given the ongoing health crisis, Go also reminded DepEd that educators should also be ready to provide psychosocial support to their students.

He stressed that students with disabilities should be considered in the implementation of the plan. The integration of social and emotional learning should also be emphasized given the ongoing pandemic which has affected the lives of students and their families. 

The senator has staunchly backed President Duterte’s call to disallow face-to-face learning until it is deemed safe, or until a vaccine for Covid-19 is available. Duterte also earlier suggested the use of radio as a mode of distance learning given that it is the most accessible form of media even in far-flung areas. 


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