DepEd continues preps for dry run of physical classes while awaiting go-signal

Jaehwa Bernardo and Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2021 01:58 PM

The Department of Education office in Pasig City. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) said Monday that it would continue to prepare for the implementation of limited in-person classes while waiting for a go-signal from relevant government officials.

The DepEd was supposed to conduct a dry run of in-person classes in schools from areas with low risk of COVID-19 transmission this month, until President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled it due to concerns over a new variant of the virus.

Despite the cancellation, the DepEd is still getting ready to implement face-to-face instruction in case they are given the green light, said Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio.

“Hindi naman natin sinabi na hindi na ‘yan. So iyong mga paghahanda ay nand'yan pa rin. Siyempre hindi lang natin ma-implement hangga’t hindi pa nagkakaroon ng go-signal,” he told ABS-CBN News.

(We’re not saying we won’t push through with that anymore. The preparations are still there. Of course, we won’t implement until we get a go-signal.)

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San Antonio said the DepEd was still identifying which schools would be allowed to hold limited in-person classes, as well as the minimum health standards that would be implemented to prevent students, school personnel and parents from getting COVID-19.

“Nililiwanag natin iyan, ano iyong mga mekanismo, [kunyari] paano papasok [at] papano lalabas ang bata, ilang bata ang maximum sa silid-aralan,” he explained.

(We’re clarifying the mechanisms. For instance, how students will enter and exit classroom,s and how many students are allowed per classrooms.)

Some parents and groups are in favor of limited in-person classes in low-risk areas since some students face challenges in distance learning, such as unreliable internet connectivity and difficulty in studying lessons by themselves.

Classes resume

Distance learning activities in public schools resumed on Monday, kicking off the second grading period.

San Antonio considered the first grading period from Oct. 5 to Dec. 12 “successful” since, according to him, there were very little “glitches” in the implementation of distance learning.

“Tingin ko nairaos ang ating first quarter na wala namang maraming glitches. So, pwede rin sabihin natin na matagumpay na naisagawa ang distance learning delivery modality sa first quarter,” he said.

(I think we finished the first quarter without many glitches. So we can also say we were able to successfully implement distance learning delivery modality in the first quarter.)

In late October, the DepEd issued a memorandum aimed at easing the stress felt by students and teachers in distance learning. Schools, for instance, were allowed to declare some activities in modules as optional.

For the second quarter, more learning modules underwent quality assurance from the DepEd’s Central Office, said San Antonio.

During the first quarter, the central office was unable to review several modules, especially those produced by the regional and division offices, San Antonio explained.