On November 24, 2020, the EducForum headed by the Department of Education (DepEd) held its 7th meeting to provide updates on the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP), updates on Sulong EduKalidad, preparations for the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and the plans for classes in 2021. The discussion was led by DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan.
On the BE-LCP, the number of enrollees this year was significantly comparable to that of last year in the categories of state universities and colleges, local universities and colleges, public schools, as well as in the alternative learning system. However, there was a significant decrease in the number of enrollees in private schools.
The education sector is facing numerous challenges in the development and quality assurance of learning resources for distance learning. Usec. Malaluan strongly said that DepEd is aware of and acknowledges its errors and continues to improve its response in order to address the gaps in the efficient delivery of learning to students.
With the recent natural disasters that has hit the country, DepEd has also become aware that home-based learning is not immune from natural disasters. Moreover, they continue to receive feedback on learning difficulties and motions for “academic ease” which has been supported by DepEd with the end in mind that its purpose is to provide facilitative learning and make room for calibrations to adjust and address difficulties. He also mentioned the challenges related to communications. The slow response of DepEd is primarily because it wants to take precaution in its decisions so as to validate the facts that it releases.
Usec. Malaluan mentioned that there is an ongoing curriculum review to improve on the ability and performance of students. There are several issues that must be addressed in order to continuously improve the delivery and quality of education. It is worthy to highlight the fact that there is a need for teacher professional support through upskilling and reskilling to develop their abilities. Aside from these, there are also ongoing efforts to rebuild school buildings and facilities, procure new books, and other various programs programmed under the General Appropriations Act.
In terms of the preparations for PISA 2022, Usec. Malaluan discussed on the need to deepen the understanding of the recent PISA results to inform policy and interventions, have adequate access to computers at home, and look at other studies to serve as benchmarks.
On the considerations for limited face-to-face learning in 2021, DepEd recognizes that the reintroduction of face-to-face, even under conditions of blended learning, is crucial to the learning process. The social aspect of learning with teacher and among classmates remains to be an important aspect for the well-rounded learning of students. The level of instruction and formative assessment in a face-to-face setup remains to be a crucial component of the learning process. However, the answers to the questions of ‘where, when, how’ are still to be determined.
The 7th EducForum meeting was held via Zoom videoconferencing. ECOP was represented by Governor Anton Sayo and Advocacy and Research Associate Jhoyzel Nacisvalencia.
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