DepEd asks for open-mindedness as the education shift to the “New Normal.” The entire education system will be bracing for the “new normal” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones enjoined stakeholders to have an “open mind” and help find ways to ensure that learning of children will continue.
“We are going into a ‘new normal’ because we are creating a brave new world,” said Briones in a recent online press conference.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DepEd has decided to delay the school opening for the school year 2020-2021 from June to August to “ensure that our learners and teachers are given time and be properly equipped to adjust to this new learning environment.”
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DepEd said that the opening of the upcoming school year will be very challenging since the health situation forces schools to utilize alternative learning modalities.
“Given the anticipated disruptions in face-to-face holding of classes and the need for social distancing, distance learning will be a major component of learning delivery for the incoming school year,” Briones said.
The DepEd Secretary also underscored the importance of teaching children how to accept and adjust to changes that are happening around them, while the necessary adjustments in the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) are being finalized.
“We have to start with the children to give them courage, to give them initiative, to help them look at problems realistically, and to continually have hope and confidence that we will overcome this,” she explained.
Secretary Briones also said that due to the emergency health crisis, it is understandable to be afraid and discouraged.
“Minsan natatakot tayo, minsan hindi natin alam kung anong gagawin natin, minsan we feel na hindi natin maso-solve itong problem dahil ang problems ngayon, dahil sobrang dami yung sinasabi natin yung mga unknowns,” she said.
Briones said that the impacts of COVID-19 on education are cannot be solved using a single solution.
“If you big data then you find the answers but it’s not like that because we are going to implement solutions in a framework of our existing administrative system, particularly in the DepEd,” she explained.
The secretary of education also admitted that the DepEd does not have a “one-size-fits-all” solution to the challenges ahead, as it readies to implement in BE-LCP this coming school year.
“We are trying to solve problems in an environment of very sensitive political and social reactions to whatever government does or does not do,” she explained. “So, we really need to communicate the programs of DepEd because they can always be easily misunderstood,” she added.
Fears and anxieties for the next school year
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many stakeholders, parents, guardians, teachers, and learners, have been urging DepEd to consider postponing the opening of a new school year.
Before coming up with the decision to formally start classes on August 24, Briones said that DepEd has “repeatedly consulted and collaborated with its partner institutions and organizations” in crafting the LCP.
“I acknowledge the fears and apprehensions of our learners, parents and teachers, that attending schools in August might still not be safe in light of COVID-19,” Secretary Briones said.
She noted, however, that the position of DepEd remains the same: “Education must continue,” even in emergencies.
She also assured that DepEd is “doing its best” to address the challenges in the delivery of education and the safety of teachers and learners is still its priority.
“They claim that we’re sending kids to unsafe schools but we repeatedly said that the Aug. 24 opening can be virtual. It’s not necessarily face-to-face,” she said.
“Many are expressing concern on the gadgets, pointing out Internet connectivity, among others, but what they don’t see is that we’re offering other ways of delivering learning,” she added.
Aside from online learning, DepEd said that education can be delivered using television and radio. Printed self-learning modules and learning packets are also being prepared for those who do not have access to technology at all.
“The biggest challenge is to convert and to shape the alternative delivery modes into interesting, exciting, effective ways of transmitting knowledge and that is where we need everyone’s help,” Briones explained.
DepEd asks for open-mindedness as the education shift to the “New Normal” – Updated: May 22, 2020
Source: Manila Bulletin
Read more: DepEd News
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