/ 20 September 2020

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers welcomed the decision of the Department of Education to do away with periodical exams but described it as ‘vile’ the reason given by the agency.

The Education department said it will forgo periodical exams to prevent cheating.

The group said the decision should not have been grounded on dishonesty concerns.

“It should be about the aims of education, then retooling our evaluation systems accordingly,” it said.

“Aside from the obvious need to deload already distressed students, our calls against DepEd’s old rigid means of assessing how well learning objectives were met, have always been based on its appropriateness and effectiveness to amply determine such. Therefore, the decision to forgo periodical exams is a positive step towards addressing these ever-relevant matters concerning the education system. Next step should be to sincerely look into a pass-or-fail evaluation system and find its merits, again based on education’s ultimate aims,” Benjamin Valbuena, the group’s spokesman, said in a statement.

DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio earlier said that the waiving of the periodical exams was part of the agency’s bid to avoid cheating under the remote learning set up.

The organized teachers deplored DepEd leadership for its ‘degrading’ justification.

“We find this to be a vile and unfair presumption against students’ integrity, especially as it embarrassingly bares DepEd’s ignorance on the more important reasons behind dishonesty in school work. As an education agency, DepEd should acknowledge and respond to where the system falls short in assisting learners’ process of appreciating the value of education,” the group said.

It called for the reorientation of the curriculum to make it responsive to the people’s needs, capacities, and aspiration.

“Specifically, we reissue our demand for DepEd to integrate pandemic and Covid19 education in the curriculum as a vital measure to ensure that education will do its role in equipping students with knowledge and skills to confront their realities and contribute in resolving issues affecting them and their communities. These will then serve as a basis in crafting relevant evaluation schemes that directly benefit not only students but the entire nation whose future rests on the youth’s hands,” Valbuena said.