Barely two days before classes officially start on Monday, the Department of Education (DepEd) assures that it will help parents and students cope with the online blended mode of learning.

“May mga pagsasanay, trainings na ginagawa po ang ating Kagawaran ng Edukasyon para ang mga magulang pati po ang ating mga guro, of course, ay mahasa kung papaano po makakapagturo using technology (There are pieces of training the Department of Education conducts so that our parents, and even our teachers, will learn to use technology in teaching),” DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said in an interview at the Laging Handa public briefing aired over state-run PTV4 on Saturday.

Umali also urged parents to be positive and look at the new normal in the system of education as challenges instead of problems.

He said the training is designed to be able to impart quality education to learners.

Umali said parents need not learn and teach the topics or the subjects to their children but added though that if parents can do that, then it will be better, especially for those whose children are in the early grade levels.

If in case the parents are not capable of doing that, they can at least be an effective learning facilitator.

“This means that they are being given the right knowledge – what to expect if they access the internet; how children can surf safely the internet; what are the dangers; what are the websites that may pose danger to their children; how to access different resources via the internet. Those are just examples of training we give to teachers and even to parents, and how to properly discipline and motivate children and encourage them to study,” Umali said in a mix of English and Filipino.

These things are not easy, said Umali, as the country’s system of education was designed for face to face interaction between teachers and learners. This is the first time that the education sector is shifting to a different modality, the online learning, and the radio and TV-based instructions.

Umali added that the DepEd is doing a “continuous training making sure that we are coming up with a quality, well-vetted self-learning modules, providing our learners, our parents, our teachers access to these resources through our DepEd commons”.

Distribution of modules

To date, Umali said the distribution of self-learning modules remains a challenge as some parents failed to get them from the schools.

Despite this, he said the DepEd is trying to complete everything before Monday.

“Ngayon hanggang bukas ay talagang kumikilos na po ang inyong Kagawaran kasama po ang ating mga partners sa pamahalaan local buong Pilipinas, kumikilos po iyan na para po masiguro na makarating po itong mga self-learning modules na ito (Today until tomorrow, the DepEd does what it can in partnership with the different local government to make sure that students receive these self-learning modules),” he said.

He said the department is willing to deliver the modules house to house.

In terms of connectivity, Umali said the department will be able to have an appreciation of its status as days pass by, adding that the department will be very flexible on this.

He said the DepEd will never get tired of explaining and reaching out to parents and teachers in order to overcome all the challenges under the new normal. PNA

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