ANYONE who is abreast with how education is carried out these days will not be as anxious when the Department of Education (DepEd) pushes for the blended learning mode should classes open soon amid the pandemic.
Boomers, to use the millennials’ sneer term for the oldies, need to understand that the notion of “sage in the stage” no longer applies to the modern learner. The last decades or so have been spent on migrating teaching methodologies into the electronic platform so that, perhaps, the single remaining interest in face-to-face schooling resides in the opportunity for children to also get the benefits of physical social interaction. The growth of this new generation needs a bit of antithesis to life stuck on gadgets, a kind of reverse to what their elders had. Acquiring knowledge on a multitude of platforms never poses as a problem for these kids.
It is in this light that we can understand the boldness of our education department to just keep the ball rolling in a month or two while we deal with the health crisis. It had pretty much laid down a wide array of learning modalities should we launch classes soon.
For instance, there is a wide selection of free online resources, downloadable e-books, physical books and worksheets that can be delivered to students in areas with low connectivity. Secretary Leonor Briones, in a recent presser, said teachers, who know better their respective ground scenarios, are equipped with the options on how best to customize their strategies. Oftentimes, this may probably be a better option than holding physical classes in a room filled to the brim with 50 or so children—an impossibility when physical distancing is a matter of life and death.
There is, on one hand, the Inter-Agency Task Force to determine the risk severity of every community. This will determine the mode of teaching that every school will apply.
Briones said our public school system was able to get an enrolment rate of 77 percent, a far cry from the 23 percent that the private schools are getting. She said there is also a migration trend. Private school students are moving to the public schools. She attributes this to private schools being severely affected financially by the lockdowns. This should be a cause for concern for our education department as well.
So this makes it even more necessary for our public education system to carry on with the plan of reopening our classes under different modalities. The future of the country need not be retarded by this pandemic. Despite its expected imperfections, which can be addressed later on, it’s necessary to be in a learning mode if we are to advance into whatever will be normal from hereon.