A week before over 22 million public school students start classes again, the Department of Education (DepEd) has not yet completed training teachers for the distance learning approach.
During a virtual press briefing on Monday, September 28, Education Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo said the agency has so far trained a total of 754,627 public school teachers for the revamped education system.
In a Viber message to Rappler, Escobedo said the DepEd had a total of 836,193 public school teachers in the last academic year.
Asked if they could train all teachers before October 5, Escobedo said, “Yan po ang sinisikap po natin – na magkaroon ang teachers natin ng pagsasanay at ito po ay isinasagawa ng ating National Educators Academy of the Philippines at ng ating regional offices.”
(That’s what we’re aiming for – to have all teachers trained and this is being done by the National Educators Academy of the Philippines and our regional offices.)
Escobedo said the trainings are ongoing.
Meanwhile, a total of 12,321,571 parents or guardians have also been trained for the distance learning, since they would have an active role in the learning process of their children. (READ: For distance learning, Nancy Binay advises DepEd to train parents too)
Why this matters
In June, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the basic education committee, said distance learning preparations and training should not be done “in haste” as this would disadvantage both teachers and learners.
“This pandemic has demonstrated that our teachers are not equipped and not trained for distance learning. Doing it in haste is not the best way because we will leave a lot of details, and we will not get the full optimum level of teaching when we do it in haste,” he said.
Distance learning is a learning delivery mode where interaction takes place between the teacher and the students who are geographically remote from each other during instruction. This means lessons will be delivered outside the traditional face-to-face setup, and will be done through a mix of modular learning, online learning, and TV and radio broadcasts.
Some teachers found it difficult to adapt to the revamped education system due to lack of knowledge on how to use technology.
DepEd shifted to distance learning for the coming school year to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive for schools to delay face-to-face classes until a coronavirus vaccine becomes available. Local experts said that in a best case scenario, the earliest that the country could access a vaccine is the second quarter of 2021.
As of Monday, a total of 24,661,788 public and private schools have signed up for the school opening. This is 3 million less than last year’s 27.7 million enrollees.
Public schools are set to open on October 5, while some private schools began their classes in August. – Rappler.com
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