/ 6 October 2020

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday said that the use of distance learning should be a part of the ‘education in the better normal’ to make sure that the country is prepared during ca-lamities or emergencies.

“We have to bounce back to a better normal kung saan ang paggamit ng teknolohiya at ang blended learning ay bahagi na ng mga aktibidad ng mga bata at mga magulang. Ipasok na natin iyan sa pagtuturo para kung mangyari man ulit ang pandemya, handa na tayo at mabilis ang ating transition sa distance learning,” Gatchalian said.

The senator made the statement after inspecting Valenzuela City’s roll-out of the distance learn-ing scheme. Gatchalian checked on how well the students are learning in the new normal while stuck at home and how distance learning is engaging parents.

The senator noted that the teachers’ experiences should serve as a basis for determining the success of the implementation of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan of the Depart-ment of Education.

For this school year, the city rolled out the Valenzuela Live Online Streaming School which utiliz-es Facebook Live to stream classes.

The Valenzuela City School of Mathematics and Science serves as an off-site classroom while information technology technicians and moderators provide support to teachers.

To ensure that learners without gadgets can access the lessons, the city government lent devic-es to students.

A survey by DepEd Valenzuela said an estimated 22,000 out of 130,000 public elementary and high school learners do not have smartphones.

Since connectivity is not available to all learners, the DepEd’s BE-LCP introduced alternative learning modalities such as modular distance learning and radio-and television-based instruc-tions.

The DepEd said about 59 percent of more than 22 million learners enrolled in public schools are using printed self-learning modules.

Gatchalian praised teachers for being in the frontlines of ensuring the continuity of education as he urged DepEd to uphold their welfare.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture hailed teachers for their hard work and dedication to ensure that education continues for the country’s learners.

“Malaki po ang aking saludo at pagpapasalamat sa ating mga guro dahil kahit na ang hamon na ito ay nakakalula, hinarap pa rin nila nang buong puso para maturuan at maipagtuloy ang pag-aaral ng ating mga kabataan,” Gatchalian said.