/ 30 October 2020

DESPITE major challenges, the opening of school year 2020-2021 has been a success, according to Education Secretary Leonor Briones.

“DepEd recognizes the challenges of the school year ahead, but if we opted for an academic freeze, we would have lost many months of the childrens’ learning,”  Briones said.

“The opening of the school year has generally been very successful, and we will continue to face any challenge that lies ahead with great resolve to continue education in the country,” she added.

For the first few weeks of classes, the education department focused on monitoring the implementation of the alternative learning modalities and providing support to the academic community.

The department said regional offices continue to work hard to provide students with learning materials.

The DepEd reported that 690,578,576 Self- Learning Modules have been printed. Of this number, 465,225,636 are being distributed to students nationwide for the first quarter of the school year.

Learning materials for Online Distance Learning students have already been prepared. About 3,841,474 digitized SLMs, e-books, online video lessons are ready for rollout, Briones said.

Also, 7,740 Radio-based instruction learning materials are ready for distribution.

These materials include teaching scripts and learning episodes which will help educate and engage with students in far-flung areas.

The Education department partnered with 309 radio stations nationwide.

Preparations for television-based learning have also been successful, Briones said.

She reported that 9,207 television-based instruction learning materials like video lessons and learning episodes have been prepared for students in 17 regions. A total of 259 television channels partnered with DepEd to make education more accessible to students.

Meanwhile, DepEd said it has provided training to 804,272 teachers and 14, 944, 593 parents in 13 regions to help them in dealing with the new normal in education. DepEd also issued a Parents’ Handbook for the New Normal in Basic Education.

The handbook will help parents understand the alternative learning modalities and will provide information on where they can seek help if they cannot understand their children’s learning modules.

Practical tips for parents of learners with disabilities and positive parenting and discipline tips when facilitating home learning were also included in the handbook.

The mental health of the academic community is also one of DepEd’s top priorities.

Prior to the opening of classes, DepEd trained teachers to provide support to students who are struggling with their education amid the pandemic.

“The millions of learners who are doing their best to learn despite the pandemic are truly inspiring and encouraging,” Briones said.

“The Department remains steadfast in its commitment to provide all learners with the quality education they deserve, and we will continue to work hand in hand with our stakeholders to continue education for Filipinos across the country amid these trying times,” she added.