Press Release
October 5, 2020

Gatchalian weighs in on distance learning as classes in public schools open

Senator Win Gatchalian is making rounds in Valenzuela to personally inspect the city's roll-out of distance learning, noting that teachers' on-ground experiences should serve as bases for determining the success of the implementation of the Education Department's Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP).

Gatchalian checks on how well the students are learning in the new normal while stuck at home and how distance learning is engaging parents.

For this school year, Valenzuela is rolling out the Valenzuela Live Online Streaming School, which utilizes Facebook Live to stream classes.

To ensure that learners without devices can access the lessons, the city government lent gadgets to be used for watching the lessons. Based on a survey by DepEd Valenzuela, an estimated 22,000 out of 130,000 public elementary and high school learners do not have a smartphone. The Valenzuela City School of Mathematics and Science serves as an off-site classroom while information technology technicians and moderators will also provide support to teachers.

Since connectivity is not available to all learners, especially for those who are living in far-flung areas, the DepEd's BE-LCP introduced alternative learning modalities such as modular distance learning and radio-and television-based instructions.

According to DepEd, around 59 percent of more than 22 million learners enrolled in public schools are using printed self-learning modules (SLMs). As of September 27, however, DepEd is still in a rush to complete the distribution of these SLMs, 80 percent of which have already been distributed.

Despite these challenges, Gatchalian praised teachers for being in the frontlines of ensuring the continuity of education as he urged DepEd to continue upholding their welfare. Classes for this school year opened on the same day as World Teacher's Day.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture hailed teachers for their hard work and dedication to ensure that education continues for the country's learners.

"Malaki po ang aking saludo at pagpapasalamat sa ating mga guro dahil kahit na ang hamon na ito ay nakakalula, hinarap pa rin nila nang buong puso para maturuan at maipagtuloy ang pag-aaral ng ating mga kabataan," said Gatchalian.

In the long run, Gatchalian said that distance learning should already be part of 'education in the better normal' so that learning is not interrupted for prolonged periods amidst emergencies and other crises.

"We have to bounce back to a better normal kung saan ang paggamit ng teknolohiya at ang blended learning ay bahagi na ng mga aktibidad ng mga bata at mga magulang. Ipasok na natin yan sa pagtuturo para kung mangyari man uli ang pandemya, handa na tayo at mabilis ang ating transition sa distance learning," said Gatchalian.

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