DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Department of Education has announced that the incoming school year 2020-2021 will open on August 24 amidst issues of safety for students in the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said they have crafted the Learning Continuity Plan with partner institutions and organizations to ensure that education programs such as the K12 continue under the conditions and health protocols set by the DOH and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The LCP includes key features on K-12 curriculum adjustments, alignment of learning materials, various modalities of delivery, and corresponding teacher and parent/guardian training for homeschooling.
“These modifications on certain policies and practices were necessary steps in adapting to the “new normal” while remaining true to the framework of Sulong EduKalidad and Education Futures,” Briones said.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Caprio has said the city will consider implementing an “online, offline, and homeschooling program” to minimize exposure of children to possible Covid-19 infection.
“While the opening of classes will generally start in August, we will not allow students and teachers to report to the school. We will implement the online, offline, and homeschooling program,” Davao City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Maria Ines Asuncion said.
Asuncion said that the teachers will be required to report in June for the orientation on the new modalities, while the division is conducting a quality assurance check on its distant learning modules recently implemented last December.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers has expressed concerns about how the government will implement distance learning and online programs, pointing out to perennial problems such as cramped classrooms, restrooms without water, and lack of health personnel in schools.
They also point out online education faces a challenge with low-income families and even teachers not able to afford to have laptops or internet connection.
ACT challenges the government to come up with more concrete plans such as building facilities and technology to adapt to the new normal in education for children. (davaotoday.com)