Alternative learning under new normal still highly dependent on teachers — DepEd

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 12) — The Department of Education admits that learning this upcoming school year will be different with students and teachers participating in their homes.

Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali however, assured that teachers should not be worried about losing their jobs since their participation in distance learning is still highly required.

“Parang wala naman po. Kailangang kailangan pa rin ang mga guro. Sa kanila nakasalalay ang tagumpay ng ating ginagawang ito. Wala po dapat ganong pangamba,” explained Umali during an online press briefing on Sunday.

[Translation: It seems like it's nothing. We will need teachers. The success of our efforts relies on them. There is nothing to be afraid of.]

According to Umali, the opening of classes will push through on August 24 saying it can no longer be postponed to a later date.

Under Republic Act 7797, the school year shall start on the first of June but not later than the last day of August.

The Education department said they were holding simulations in different areas in the country to make sure that the distance learning modalities would be a success.

‘Distance Learning Modalities’

Umali explained that these will be the alternatives to face-to-face classes.

The first one are self-learning modules (SLM) that require minimum intervention from teachers and parents. SLMs will be picked up by parents from the school or from their local government.

The local government can also deliver the modules to the homes of students.

The second one is online based learning or internet based learning. There will be learning packets made available online and teachers and students will participate in an online discussion using platforms such Facebook messenger.

The third mode is learning through television or radio. Umali said lessons were patterned as scripts and students can listen or watch their teachers.

The DepEd shifted to distance learning for the coming school year in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive for schools to postpone face-to-face classes until a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available.

There is also a lower enrollment turnout this year compared to the previous year. DepEd said there are currently 18,532,000 public school enrollees and 964,445 enrollees in private schools.

DepEd said they already anticipated the lower turnout saying they understand that not all parents can enroll their children given the effects of the