School Year 2020-2021 is considered as the dawning of the new normal in the field of education. The premature birth of the new normal in education is not part of the Department of Education agenda. The global pandemic mushroom as a pivotal point forcing officials to revisit education road-map of the country in response to this new normal demand.
This coming August 24, 2020 is the first day of School Year 2020-21. What do Filipino learners expect? What parents need to know, do and understand? These are just few of the many questions that may lingers into the minds of the community folks that needs a clear and concise answer as department of education pushes its way towards continuous education for all amidst global outbreak. The level of excitement is heightening as the date comes close to the 24th day of August 2020. Doubts over students safety, teaching and non-teaching personnel safety, preparedness of the school personnel, tools availability, efficiency of technology, etc are some of the many issues and concerns that appears to be a road block to achieve quality education in this trying times.
Taking parents’ perspective, might also have the same cobwebs in mind for this could easily seen as impossible. But being educator by profession and actively managing a school who knows everything how DepEd prepares for this school year would say that education need not stop because of COVID 19. Instead should continue.
In the light of this stance, DepEd Order No.12 S. 2020 entitled ADOPTION OF THE BASIC EDUCATION LEARNING CONTINUITY PLAN OF SY 2020-21 IN LIGHT OF THE COVID 19 PUBLIC HEALTH AND EMERGENCY, highlight the adoption of Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) as road-map to follow this School Year 2020-21 to ensure continuous education among Filipinos.
BE-LCP is an intervention package design to respond to the basic education challenges brought about by the global crisis.
The Basic Education Leaning Continuity Plan is rooted from the health safety and protection of clients and personnel, ensure learning continuity employing the provision of multiple learning delivery modalities, manage and facilitate the safety return of learners and teaching personnel with due consideration on the projected scenario of the Department of Health and IATF, and linking the BE-LCP to the DepEd’s future thinking with in the framework of Sulong Edukalidad.
This DO 12 S. 2020 also adopted the so called Most Essential Learning Competencies. Let’s remembered that since 2016 upon the implementation of K to 12 curriculum, a numbers of subject competencies were found to be overcrowded. Teachers struggle to finish their competencies because of its extras. In response and in compliance of RA 10533 on the provision of curriculum review, Sec Briones created a review committee on the standard competencies and MELC resulted as the department find its way to implement the different modalities of BE-LCP.
Hence, MELC becomes a necessity thing wherein number of competencies were significantly reduced according to their level of importance and impact to the lives of the learners beyond graduation.
MELC is not a new thing but from the establish standards streamlined to be able to respond to this new demand of new normal teaching and learning situation.
On the process of streamlining, the members of the review team were guided by the following: a) alignment with the national and local framework b) connection of content to higher concepts across content areas c) applicable to the real life situations d) important beyond many others things e) cannot be acquired in other means except through formal education. In general MELC provides the list of enduring competencies which would provide learners the needed skill for life deep, life wide, life long and life wise enduring learning.
On the other hand, the department’s decision to open classes on August 24, 2020 was made possible with due consideration to socio-economic factors such as prolonged disruption of classes which would somehow associate to some social risk of young individual, encourage education-related economic activities, and resume school-managed support system.
Furthermore, the department also incapacitate teaching and non-teaching personnel on this significant pivotal point of education rethinking for future planning and development with high regards to digitally aided teaching and learning process without compromising time honored values attached to the old normal. This would seamlessly re-tune educators by graciously move out from the old normal curtains to the new normal scenario responding educational needs while keeping in mind public health safety and well being. This is important to avoid untimely extinction of the old normal time honored values allowing to permeate into the social media platforms as virtual substitute to the usual social norms for the past years.
DO # 12 S. 2020 encapsulate the adaption of Basic Education- Learning Continuity Plan to contain all localize issues and concerns to ensure continuous delivery of basic education to the Filipinos cutting across various learning modalities for the benefits of the learners keeping in mind strictly the health and safety of the learners, the teaching and teaching personnel. This Department Order aligns itself with the four pillars of Sulong Edukalidad which included: K to 12 review and update, improving the learning environment, teacher’s upskilling and re-skilling and engaging the stakeholders for support and collaboration.
All the details highlighted above in this adoption, the BE- LCP would be implemented with emphasis on innovation, agility and synergy in the direction of future development of Philippine education with due consideration on downing demands of the new normal condition.
In response to the directive under this department order, there was a delineation of contextualize Learning Continuity Plan down from the central office, regional offices, division offices, district offices, schools and to the implementing individuals,teachers, through the Teacher Learning Continuity Plan detailing the School Learning Continuity Plan upon actual implementation.
As the present condition demands, with the notion that face- to- face instruction is not possible until COVID vaccine is available, distance learning is the only option. Distance learning, which can be easily referred to as Home Schooling, can be delivered in two modes using the online delivery through internet connection which could be either synchronous or asynchronous and the modular mode which uses the printed modules to be supplied to the learners through the identified Community Learning Centers, locally known as “Purok” for those who are in the geographic location that is considered as off grid.
A very important consideration is to practically organize class groupings according to the strategic location of the students. Such grouping is said to be strategically organize if learners Community Learning Center (CLC) is the nearest point compared to all other CLC’s within his/her geographic zone. Doing all this would save time and effort for both the learners and the teachers most especially when moving instructional materials to the CLC’s as the curriculum year start.
The real scenario for this coming opening classes on August 24, 2020 for most school located in the remote areas would be modular or in simple saying “home study”. This is a type of self pace learning which could be co-manage by some qualified family member tutor in collaboration with the teacher for the benefit of the student.
Learning materials will be delivered to the respective Community Learning Center or “Purok” ready to be picked-up by the student at the agreed time interval. Likewise, at a reasonable time interval, the required output of the module shall be retrieved by the teacher for assessment of the students’ learning progress using rubric stipulating the performances level with corresponding points. The technicalities of this things will surface as the need arises but rest assured that education really continue.
As can be anticipated on the implementation process, some parents seems to dislike the idea of tapping them as their student co-manager of learning for their siblings. Many would just loosely say that there’s no need of involving them for all of these are teaching tasks from which teachers are given salary. Yes it sounds correct but technically wrong for teachers are not passing on their duties and responsibilities to parents instead tapping them to be a qualified partner to overcome bad impact of COVID 19 among Filipinos learners.
Teachers couldn’t deny their duties and responsibilities to the learners being the teacher and the second parent in school, but the main concern here is to join hands together to help save the siblings from the aftermath of COVID 19. Until such time all of us sets our foot on the ground in the new normal through norming. Remember parents and teachers that picking up a fight and harboring some grudge out of envious in this global pandemic will end up into nothing but to the disadvantage of the learners.
In general, DO 12 S. 2020 spouses the BE-LCP in accordance with the four pillars of Sulong Edukalidad which will be implemented with emphasis on the innovation, agility and synergy as the pivotal points looking at the future of the education in the country.
DO # 12 S. 2020 ADOPTION OF THE BASIC EDUCATION LEARNING CONTINUITY PLAN OF SY 2020-21 IN LIGHT OF THE COVID 19 PUBLIC HEALTH AND EMERGENCY,
Doctor in Development Education ( Dev. Ed. D.), an all time educator as School Head and HEI Instructor.