MANILA, Philippines — Learning from home may become the “new normal” for millions of students when school year 2020-2021 opens in August, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Wednesday.
In a statement, Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, arts and culture, said that the Department of Education (DepEd) should use every platform to ensure the continued education and safety of more than 27 million learners amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
He said the mix of digital, low-tech, and no-tech methods will help DepEd reach all learners, especially those in the far-flung areas without access to the internet.
Since not all learners have connectivity and available gadgets for online-based learning, the senator said that television and radio will be key to reaching more learners nationwide.
“Marami pa rin sa ating mga mag-aaral sa buong bansa ang hindi nakakagamit ng internet, kaya malaki ang potensyal ng radyo at telebisyon upang maipagtuloy natin ang edukasyon sa loob ng ating mga tahanan,” Gatchalian said.
“Sa pagpasok ng SY 2020-2021, mahalagang magamit natin lahat ng paraaan upang maipagpatuloy ang edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan at mapanatili ang kanilang kaligtasan,” he added.
The lawmaker also proposed that the number of subjects under DepEd’s Learning Continuity Plan be reduced only to core subjects amid the health crisis situation.
He also suggested that the time leading to the opening of classes on August 24 should be spent on preparing teachers, parents and learners on using different tools for home-based learning.
The DepEd earlier said it is studying various modes of learning for students depending on the situation in their areas. Its guidelines will be released when finalized.