Opening of classes for SY 2020-2021 would formally start on October 5, 2020. Unlike the usual scenario of school year opening, students with some of their parents and guardians are not expected to flood themselves in school for enrollment. School enrollment committee for secondary level facilitate and accept  walk-in enrollment for grade 7, grade 11 and transferee only. Incoming grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 students need not come for enrollment for the same is automatically enrolled. Their names from the previous grade  level would be automatically  forwarded to the next higher grade level provided they don’t have any failing grades. In this case, physical presence for enrollment purposes is highly discourage to ensure the health safety and well being of the learners, parents and school personnel.

Since all are entering into the new normal situation, blended learning would be a good choice. It is a new and hybrid method of learning which is a combination of traditional classroom instruction and online virtual classroom instruction. Students’ learning take place both inside the school and in their respective homes. There would be a pre-arranged meet up classes schedule prorated in a couple of days within the week. In a class of 45 learners for instance, may be met by the subject teacher ones a week considering  15 learners at a time. Though the subject teacher conduct meet up classes for three days within a week, his/her students come to school ones a week.  Teachers need to consider the number of Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELC) with in a week and prepare modules ( hard or soft copy) depending in the availability of students’ tools and technology at their homes along with their ICT skills. The learners manage their own learning using the supplied Self Learning Modules ( SLM) and remote assistance from the teacher via internet upon the needs of the learner. During the meet up classes all necessary Self Learning Modules for the next three days ( for subjects  scheduled for 240 minutes per week)  would  be prepared and made available within the reach of the learners.

In the previous scheme, the learner or a family member representative would be in school  picking up Self Learning Modules and do his/her home study for the next four days.  The teaching and learning process would be co-managed by the parents of the learner to ensure that appropriate learning progress is achieved within a week. Parents are now serving as teacher’s remote assistant to co-manage the learning sessions of their siblings enrolled under the blended learning program of the school.

Learning progress assessment of the learners must be authentically founded from the weekly output portfolio evaluated using a performance rubric.  Parents, as a teacher’s remote assistant, must diligently help subject teacher to objectively report using a performance checklist prepared every week. Honest performance report from the parents is very important for the teacher to have informed decision about the learning progress of the students.

Parent’s tendency of doing the performance task of their siblings might be a road block. However, this could be avoided through proper orientation of their rules and obligations in this new teaching and learning program.  Furthermore, very important discussion must be thoroughly conducted why personally doing the learning task intended for their siblings is a great disadvantage.

In totality, blended learning is the answer to the pressing need of the new normal teaching and learning situation. Partnership of parents and teachers is of great importance. Parents become a remote teacher assistant to  co-manage the learning progress of their siblings and the they are called as home tutor.

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