Our division has decided, after a survey conducted on parents last June and July, to use the modular type of distance learning.
You see, the DepEd has designed several modalities to choose from in teaching school children this pandemic period, fellas.
Here they are:
Face-to-face (F2F) learning is a learning delivery modality where the teacher and learner/s are physically in one venue. There are opportunities for active engagement, immediate feedback and socio-emotional development of learners. It may be conducted in any available physical learning space.
Distance learning is where a learner is given materials or access to resources and he undertakes self-directed study at home or in another venue. Learners engage in independent learning at home or in any physical learning space applicable, by using learning materials that are accessible either online, stored on
CD/DVD/USB Flash drive or in printed form, or by viewing TV lessons or listening to radio-based instruction while being geographically distant from the teacher. The teacher supervises and monitors the learner’s progress and provides remediation and enhancement when needed and possible. Assistance may be provided by a learning facilitator who may be a parent or any member of the family or a community stakeholder.
Next is blended learning which refers to a learning delivery modality using a combination of the features of F2F learning and distance learning. It can be (1) F2F and modular distance learning; (2) F2F and online distance learning; (3) F2F and TV-based instruction/Radio-based instruction; or (4) F2F and any combination of the other types of distance learning.
The last one is called home schooling which is an alternative learning delivery mode (ADM) that provides learners with access to formal education while staying in an out-of-school environment, with parents, guardians or tutors as authorized facilitators instead of classroom teachers. This does not preclude going to a school on specific periods to develop learning competencies that require the use of laboratory, equipment, and others. It uses any or a combination of the various learning delivery modalities.
The DepEd has rejected the F2F modality. Some schools preferred the virtual type of distance learning that require their students to have internet connection or access. The teachers use ICT applications such as Google Meet, Zoom or Google class.
The modular type, the one chosen by most DepEd divisions, goes like this:
First, the DepEd prints Self-Learning Modules (SLMs) for the grading period, one per student. The printing alone of SLMs or SLKs (Self-Learning Kits) is laborious and costly, given the fact that one SLM consists of 10 to 20 pages, good for a week of self-study. Its good the provincial and local governments came to the rescue using their funds allocated for education.
Second, the SLMs are sorted in school according to the barangay address of the learners. While the SLMs are printed and sorted, parents submit plastic envelopes where the SLMs are placed, again, per barangay address of the learners.
Next, the barangay council or its representative goes to school to get the SLMs contained in the envelopes, distributes them to their student-constituents and retrieve them every Friday.
Then, the following Monday, the SLMs are submitted by the same barangay council or its representative to the school for distribution to the respective adviser or teachers so they can correct the modules. The barangay representative next will get the SLMs for the following week, following the same procedure.
But there are also anticipated problems in the modular type of learning.
What if the child fails to work on his outputs or has incomplete outputs?
What if the child’s parents are abroad or both have professional jobs leaving their kids alone at home? Or nobody stays at home to tutor the kids?
How can they avoid copying answers using the social media or other communication platforms?
What if the child is a struggling reader or has no gadget to communicate with his adviser or subject teacher?
In the last LDM2 LAC sessions for teachers, the following interventions were coined using the Individual Learner’s Monitoring Plan and Targeted Learner Interventions.
And what are these interventions, fellas?
Ask/request assistance from the learners’ neighbors or relatives.
Solicit the help of teaching graduates who are not yet employed as tutors through the barangay council (barangay stakeholders) in charge of the Committee of Education.
Adviser/Subject teacher to regularly communicate with the learners and their parents via social media or by phone.
Collaborative effort of the members of the household to help and guide their children in reading.
Ask/request assistance from the learners’ neighbors or relatives to become tutors.
If the students have internet access, recommend that they use the YouTube channel and watch videos about reading, accessing numerical skills and information.
If the family can afford, a private tutor can be hired.
Reproduce remedial printed modules to be used in distance learning for struggling learners.
Request for donations from neighbors or stakeholders if the learner’s family needs assistance in procuring a gadget.
Create alternative learning materials or devices.
Parents/relatives to access and save downloaded videos in areas where signal is strong and feed them to their family learners.
Coordinate with the barangay officials in the area so that they will be the one to get the learning resources in school for distribution to the learners. They will also be the one to retrieve the SLMs and bring them back to school.
For learners belonging to the indigenous group, coordinate with the tribal chieftain/barangay officials in the area so that they will be the one to get the learning resources in school and then bring them back to school after the learners shall have completed the tasks.
Design learning modalities that would cater to the needs of the learners appropriate to their capabilities.
Conduct frequent progress checks.
Conduct a home visit.
How did the teachers prepare for the modality that their division has chosen, fellas?
The answer is the LDM2 course for teachers conducted this month of September. LDM stands for Learning Delivery Modalities so that the teachers will possess the knowledge and skills in handling their learners using the modality that their parents have chosen during the survey – whether it is virtual (online), blended, TV-based, radio-based or modular.
No modality is perfect. This is expected in this time of COVID pandemic. But the modalities are designed so as not to hinder the education of our school children. They may not be as effective as F2F, but life must go on.
Education must go on. This is the “new normal,” fellas.
And we ought to live and struggle “normally.” ●