DepEd eyes distance learning even when in-person classes allowed


The Department of Education plans to make the distance learning setup a strategic program that can be implemented even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in addressing congestion in public schools. 

DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Pascua, during a virtual consultation in Sorsogon, said the distance learning approach may be used as modality even when in-person classes have already resumed. 

Pascua said that he will propose to the Executive Committee (ExeComm) and Management Committee (ManCom) to make this as a program alongside the face-to-face instruction. 

“Itong TV, radio, online natin, ipo-propose ko ito sa ExeComm at saka sa ManCom at sa buong DepEd na ito ay magiging strategic program (This TV, radio, online, I will propose to the ExeComm and ManCom and to the entire DepEd to make it as a strategic program),” Pascua said.  

Pascua said that the alternative learning delivery modalities under the distance learning approach may be used even when physical classes have been allowed. 

“Ang ibig kong sabihin, magiging modality na siya kasama ng classroom instruction kahit bumalik tayo sa eskwelahan (What It mean is this will become a modality with the classroom instruction even when we go back to the schools),” he added. 

For instance, Pascua said that schools can come up with a schedule for their students.

“Puwedeng kalahati, papasok MWF (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), kalahati, nandun sa bahay, manood ng TV o kaya radyo o kaya may Internet connection at ung kalahati, papasok TThS (Tuesday, Thursday) habang ‘yung iba ay nanonood (It can be that half of the class would go to school on MWF and half will stay in the their houses to watch TV or radio or if they have Internet, they can watch from there),” he explained. 

If this is implemented, Pascua said that the perennial shortage in classrooms in the country’s public schools might be addressed. “Kapag ganito, di ba solved ang classroom shortage, may social distancing pa sa loob ng classroom,” he said. 

However, Pascua said that there are factors that must still be considered should this be implemented. “Dapat maayos ‘yung TV, maayos ‘yung radio, maganda ung scheduling natin, na-solve na natin ‘yung mga problems sa distance learning at master na tayo sa blended learning (We should make sure that the TV and radio are working well, we should also make sure that the scheduling is good. We also have to make sure that the problems in distance learning have been resolved and we have mastered the blended learning already),” he added. 

“What if, ngayong pandemic, ma-master natin ang blended learning, ma-master natin ang distance learning? (What if during the pandemic, we were able to master blended learning and distance learning)?” Pascua said. “Meron tayong isang buong school year na i-testing ‘yan at maayos natin lahat, puwede na siguro nating hatiin ung ating mga klase later (Then, we will have the entire school year to test that and make sure everything is okay, then maybe, we can divide the classes later),” he explained. 

Pascua added that DepEd also plans to put up radio stations in all schools in the country “possibly in two to three years time.” DepEd TV will also be proposed as a permanent fixture should the agency be given its own TV network. 

DepEd is implementing distance learning setup for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 amid the COVID-19 situation in the country. More than 25 million students are currently under home-based learning using multiple learning delivery modalities.