The Department of Education (DepEd) will carry out a “two-track approach” to address the challenges in basic education.
(DepEd / MB Visual Content Group)
“DepEd, under the Marcos administration, we all understand that there are challenges in basic education and we need to address the sooner rather than later,” DepEd Undersecretary and Spokesperson Michael Poa said on Wednesday, July 26, during the post-State of the Nation Address (SONA) discussions at the Newport Hotel, Pasay City.
Poa said that under the stewardship of Vice President Sara Duterte, who serves as the Education Secretary in a concurrent capacity, DepEd “will be tackling these issues using a two-track approach.”
DepEd, Poa explained, will still use “traditional” solutions to perennial problems such as shortages in terms of classrooms and teachers by building resilient classrooms and hiring teachers — among others.
Recognizing that it would be challenging to catch up to these “perennial problems,” Poa said that DepEd would use another approach: technology.
“We are starting now, that is tapping into technology,” Poa explained.
Learning the lessons from the pandemic, Poa said that DepEd is looking into institutionalizing blended learning.
Blended learning is an alternative delivery mode where students learn their lessons at home through multiple learning delivery modalities such as printed/offline modular, online, and radio and television-based instruction whenever attending face-to-face classes is not possible or advisable.
Before the pandemic, Poa said that large-scale implementation of blended, distance, or online learning seemed unimaginable.
When there are natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes, Poa said that schools will suspend classes.
After adopting blended learning, Poa said that only in-person classes are suspended. Students, he added, can continue learning at home through alternative delivery modes such as modules and online learning, among others.
“Now, we need to use what we have learned during the pandemic to address the issues of basic education,” he said. “We are able to maximize learning continuity since we are also on a learning recovery mode,” Poa added.
Poa explained that DepEd is keen to tap into technology to help ease congested schools. “We believe that institutionalizing blended learning is a more effective way to quickly decongest our schools,” he said.
DepEd, he added, is also moving toward developing students’ 21st century skills. “In a globalized society, 21st century skills are very important,” Poa said.
The current initiatives of DepEd, he added, also aim to produce learners that will be “ready in terms of employment of the Philippine settings but [also] ready for the world.”