Sun. Aug 1st, 2021

MANILA — As the threats of COVID-19 continue to reduce physical mobility and highlight the importance of preparing for the “new normal,” Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has recommended to the education sector to innovate on ways on how to conduct teaching and learning.

“Pag-isipan na po natin paano makakapag-aral ang mga kabataan na may social distancing at iba pang mga hakbang na ipapatupad depende sa sitwasyon sa mga lugar nila,” Go said.

The Senator reminded concerned agencies and educational institutions to guide students in preparation for the next school year considering that classes are supposed to resume as early as August while the whole world is still trying to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hindi naman po pwedeng tumigil ang kanilang pag-aaral,” Go said, adding that “schools must also prepare their facilities and lay down protocols in preparation for the possible scenarios that students, teachers and education personnel will face when classes resume.”

Go also urged the private sector, particularly telecommunication companies and media networks, to help the education sector by allowing their platforms to be used for educational purposes.

“Gamitin ang teknolohiya na available para sa distance learning tulad ng pagkakaroon ng virtual classrooms. May airtime rin na allotted for educational programs ayon sa batas, pwede po itong gamitin bilang alternative mode of teaching and learning,” he said.

Go was referring to RA 8370 or the Children’s Television Act of 1997 which states that “a minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of the daily total air time of each broadcasting network shall be allotted for child-friendly shows within the regular programming of all networks granted franchises or as a condition for renewal of broadcast licenses hereinafter, to be included as part of the network’s responsibility of serving the public.”

Go said that the education system in rural areas must be enhanced to prepare for the transfer of students. Aside from the physical facilities of schools, Go said that a thorough review of teaching strategies based on new technology and availability of the internet for E-learning must be considered. 

“Kapag maganda ang education system sa iba’t ibang rehiyon sa bansa, mas makakaenganyo ito sa mga pamilya na umuwi sa kanilang probinsya,” Go explained.

Go encouraged the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to work together and continue improving the quality and capacity of schools nationwide.

With school opening scheduled on August 24, the DepEd said that schools may be allowed to hold physical classes as long as they meet the requirements set by proper authorities, both national and local. These include measures to ensure the health and safety of students, the teachers, and the non-teaching personnel in educational institutions.

To reduce physical contact among students and teaching personnel once the school year has opened, DepEd is also preparing guidelines that could limit the number of students to fifteen to twenty per classroom.

However, Go noted that this will pose challenges given the limited number of classrooms and teachers in the country. He appealed that funding must be made available for the construction and repair of school facilities. (iamigo/

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