/ 25 November 2020

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian again proposed the holding of small classes in areas devastated by the recent typhoons where learning materials were lost or damaged.

He said small groups of students can continue their learning this way while the Department of Education prepares to replace damaged learning materials.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture said it is crucial that recovery efforts include the resumption of classes to give learners a sense of normalcy after the calamities.

The senator pitched his proposal when he visited Bicol and Cagayan Valley, two of the regions hardest hit by a string of typhoons.

The senator explained that teachers can go to the purok or villages to conduct small class sessions.

He said purok workshops can gather 10 students or less in barangay zones, where they can receive guidance from teachers or from the learning support aides of the Department of Education.

The idea of purok workshops was patterned after the learning pods that became popular in the United States, where small groups of children receive instruction from teachers.

To avoid Covid19 outbreaks in these gatherings, health protocols such as the wearing of face masks and physical distancing should be observed.

“Isa sa mga mungkahi natin ay payagan na ‘yung mga lugar na walang Covid19 o iyong mga maituturing na low-risk areas na magkaroon ng face-to-face classes sa pamamagitan ng purok workshops. Dahil nasira ng bagyo ang mga modules na ginagamit ng karamihan sa ating mga mag-aaral, ang pagkakaroon ng direktang ugnayan sa pagitan nila at kanilang mga guro ang isang paraan upang makabalik na agad sa pag-aaral ang mga bata,” Gatchalian said.

The DepEd has vowed to replace self-learning modules damaged by the typhoons.