8.8 million parents prefer modular learning for students – DepEd

Modular learning is the most preferred by parents for the conduct of distance learning for the coming school year, according to a Department of Education (DepEd) survey released on Thursday, July 30.

The survey was conducted during the remote enrollment period from June 1 to July 15, where parents were asked about their preferred alternative learning mode.

The DepEd said that 8.8 million parents chose printed modules; followed by blended learning or the combination of learning through modules, online classes, television, and radio (3.9 million parents); online learning (3.8 million); educational TV (1.4 million parents); radio-based instruction (900,000 parents); and other modalities not specified by the agency (500,000 parents). (READ: FAST FACTS: DepEd’s distance learning)

Parents and guardians of private schools also participated in the survey, Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said.

In a distance learning approach, parents would have to play an active role in the learning process. They would be the one to facilitate and guide their children through the modular lessons that would be sent to students while doing remote learning.

On Thursday, the DepEd also said that it is conducting a series of psychosocial support and training for parents, teachers, school heads, and identified DepEd region and division non-teaching personnel for the coming school year. (READ: For distance learning, Nancy Binay advises DepEd to train parents too)

The DepEd reached its target rate of 80% for the coming school year. According to latest data, some 22.2 million students have registered in public and private schools nationwide for school year 2020-2021, which is only 80% of last year's 27.7 million enrollees.

Private schools have expressed concerns over their "alarmingly low" enrollment turnout for the coming school year.

As of Thursday, a total of 1,373,362 students have so far enrolled in private schools – only a quarter of last year's 4.4 million enrollees.

Despite calls to delay classes, Education Secretary Leonor Briones had reiterated classes would open on August 24 "whatever form it is." (READ: No backing down: Briones says classes will open on August 24 'whatever form it is')

Many have criticized the DepEd's decision to open schools in the middle of a health crisis. (READ: No student left behind? During pandemic, education 'only for those who can afford')

The DepEd decided to shift to distance learning for the coming school year to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte's directive for schools to postpone face-to-face classes until a coronavirus vaccine becomes available.

Duterte, however, allowed "limited" face-to-face classes in low-risk areas or those under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), beginning January 2021. (READ: Duterte allows 'limited' face-to-face classes in low-risk areas)

This comes as a global debate rages about the reopening of schools during the pandemic.

study in South Korea showed young people between 10 and 19 years old can spread COVID-19 as much as adults do, which means reopening schools can increase virus transmission. Meanwhile, a US scientific panel recommended face-to-face classes for children who are younger or who have special needs.

As of Thursday, the Philippines recorded 89,374 coronavirus cases, including 1,983 deaths and 65,064 recoveries. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

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