PB backs limited face-to-face classes

Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - November 24, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu Provincial Board is supporting the plan to implement limited face-to-face classes in areas that have recorded zero transmission of coronavirus disease.

The august body has passed a resolution requesting the conduct of physical classes in areas with no local transmission of the virus during their out of town session in Daanbantayan town yesterday.

The PB found many challenges in the implementation of modular learning and online classes as an alternative way of the Department of Education in conducting a learning system for students in this time of pandemic.

The board cited a survey by Save the Children International which showed that only less than one percent of children from poor households have access to the internet for distance learning.

In the same study, at least 40 percent of children from poor households said they needed help with their schoolwork and activities, yet there is no one to help them.

The resolution was authored by PB Member Glenn Anthony Soco.

Soco pointed out that the alternative learning system has brought challenges not only to the children who were hampered in accessing quality education but also to their parents.

"Another academic challenge is the added workload for parents and guardians to attend to and assist their learners in dealing with schoolwork. Apart from having to work for at least eight hours a day, they have to get home, assist and monitor their learners on a daily basis which likewise eat a lot of their time," Soco said.

He also raised questions on the effectiveness of the blended learning as many reports occurred on its effectiveness to the students.

"For one, the effectiveness of the program is being challenged. Reports that the learners themselves do not religiously study and answer their self-learning modules are common. This alone raises questions as to the degree of retention and quality of learning ensured by the program," he furthered.

The board recognizes the face-to-face learning as still the holistic way where students can avail of a quality education.

"It is high time to consider the resumption to face-to-face learning approach as the country already eased restrictions even for those aged 16-65 years old,” read the resolution.

“In other words, learners who are 16 years of age and above can go out of their homes and perhaps attend their limited face-to-face classes," the resolution furthered.

There are towns in Cebu Province that have no cases already of COVID-19.

Though the legislative body acknowledged that there's still a risk to students in going outside especially those areas having Covid-19 cases.

"However, unless and until the safety and security of the children from the virus infection is assured, the resumption to the traditional face-to-face or in-classroom learning is discouraged," the resolution stated.

The DepEd-7 has pushed for the limited face-to-face classes in far flung areas where there's a small populace of students and implementation of social distancing and carrying capacity can be easily managed. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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