MANILA, Philippines — Two months before classes open on August 24, only 40 percent of the 800,000 teachers across the country have been trained so far for distance learning.
This was disclosed during a hearing of the Senate basic education committee on Thursday.
Citing a report prepared by the Department of Education (DepEd) Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS), Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio told senators that 300,000 teachers have so far been trained in information and communications technology (ICT)-based learning.
“The ICTS [is] reporting that 300,000 or about 40 percent [have been trained],” San Antonio said.
He added that the teachers were trained on “how to convert [learning] materials to e-books, into digital formats,” among others.
“Let it also be known that in addition to the training being done by the ICTS, there are also local initiatives from the division offices and regional offices where the teachers are also being given training activities,” the DepEd official said.
“In fact, a few schools have also been doing the training of their teachers,” he added.
By July, DepEd is looking to have all 800,000 teachers trained in online learning modalities, according to San Antonio.
“We hope to be able to provide the training for our fellow teachers this coming July, [for] the remaining 60 percent,” he added.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the basic education committee, underscored the need for teachers to be prepared for the upcoming school year.
He said the current pandemic revealed that the country’s teachers “are not equipped and trained in terms of distance learning.”
“The teacher should be prepared 24/7, they should be prepared in any eventuality. This pandemic has demonstrated that our teachers are not equipped and trained in terms of distance learning,” Gatchalian said.
“Talagang magaling sila pagdating sa physical teaching but since may ganito tayong mga pandemya, nakita natin na ngayon lang natin ginagawa ’to [training],” he added.
(They really excel when it comes to physical teaching but since we have this pandemic, we are seeing that we’re only conducting training now).
“Of course, doing it in haste is not the best way because we will live a lot of details and we will not get the full optimum level of teaching when we do it in haste,” the senator added.
As of June 23, over 13.7 million learners have enrolled for the upcoming school year, three weeks after DepEd opened its month-long enrollment.
The upcoming school year will start on August 24 with schools adopting various learning delivery options such as distance or online learning, and homeschooling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.