MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (PIA)—The Department of Education (DepEd) urged parents to enroll their kids in school amid the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In an interview during radio program aired over 13 broadcast stations in Bukidnon, Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Victoria Gazo of DepEd Malaybalay Division enjoined parents to let the children continue their studies and trust the educators and schoolteachers on how they should deliver specific teaching-learning modalities available in lieu of the face-to-face classes once the school year opens in August.
“I encourage our parents to inspire their children to enroll so that they will not be missed out on whatever DepEd has to offer especially on basic education. Aside from keeping them [parents and students] updated of the goings-on in any academic field, enrolment would also mean hastening delivery of basic services because this will ensure that students are already in the list of qualified beneficiaries whenever the education department launches additional scholastic programs,” Gazo said.
She, however, clarified that while DepEd urges parents to participate, it will respect parents’ decision if they would not let their children sign up. “Because in the end, we cannot force them to participate but we encourage them,” she added.
For the remote enrolment conducted this June 1 to 11, DepEd Malaybalay City Division has recorded 10,289 elementary enrollees compared to 28,822 last year.
Similarly, for junior high school, 10,371 are currently enrolled against 16,200 last year, while 4,011 students registered in senior high school compared to 5,735 in the previous year.
“I hope that more enrollees will keep coming before August because preparation really needs more time,” Gazo said.
‘Menu’ of distance learning methods
Gazo announced that the “face-to-face blended learning (with physical presence)” modality that DepEd intends to use would not apply anymore due to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s recent order not to hold face-to-face classes in schools while COVID-19 vaccine is uncertain.
“We will be offering parents and students a ‘menu’ of distance learning approaches. These are Modular, Online, and Homeschool methods,” she said.
She explained that the ‘Modular learning’ covers bring-home modules using printed materials.
Also, ‘Online learning’ needs internet connectivity where teachers will be using three platforms in their online class such as Google meet & Google classroom, Microsoft Teams, and DepEd Workplace.
The homeschooling, on the other hand, is an option for families with qualified parents or guardians or who can hire private tutors.In fact, Gazo said Malaybalay would be using mostly the “Modular” approach because recent data gathered from the field showed that only 5 percent of the 50,000 students have internet connectivity.
Further, she clarified that DepEd Malaybalay Division is also having a Radio-based instruction (RBI) that will be aired every 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month for elementary and every 2nd and 4th Fridays for Grade 7 to 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The lessons selected for RBI are competencies for listening skills and values education.
“We share the concerns of parents and guardians that children must continue learning, but should remain protected from exposure to COVID-19. Let’s support DepEd in the implementation of a learning continuity program that uses alternative modalities because children have rights to access education even in times of emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gazo said. (RLRB/PIA Bukidnon)