For distance learning, Nancy Binay advises DepEd to train parents too

Should parents be trained for the distance learning approach, too?

During a Senate hearing on basic education, Senator Nancy Binay asked Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones if the department is also training the parents for the conduct of distance learning beginning August 24. 

"As a mother [also] this concept of distance learning, napakalaki po ng participation ng magulang dito e (parents have a big role in participating). Mayroon ho bang separate training ang DepEd para sa mga parents? (Does DepEd have a separate training for parents?) Kasi kumbaga maiiba na nga ngayon eh (The situation would be different now). Saka sa magulang kaya nga pinasok anak mo sa eskwelahan para maturuan sila (For parents, they would say they enrolled their students in schools so they could be educated)," Binay asked. 

Briones said that DepEd will consider Binay's suggestion. 

"The question of Senator Binay I think is very important.. Not all parents as Senator Binay pointed out are all prepared. We’re seriously considering that siguro ilagay namin sa app ng DepEd Commons (Maybe we'll include in the DepEd Commons). I de-develop 'yan (We'll develop that) for parents who want to have a rundown of how to monitor [their children] and the basic concepts of teaching. This is very sound advice," Briones said.  

In a distance learning approach, parents would have to play an active role in the learning process. They would be the one to facilitate and guide their children through the modular lessons that would be sent to students while doing distance learning.

 During a virtual briefing on May 28, Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said that a decline in enrollment was "for certain" as some parents might not be able to facilitate learning at home.

"There's a [sic] possibility of the decrease because maraming considerations ang mga magulang (parents have many considerations). Especially ang pag-aaral ngayon (Especially the kind of learning now), it will require the partnership from the parent or someone from home," Malaluan said.

Aside from training teachers, Binay also said that there should be a constant communication between the parents and teachers while conducting distance learning.

"So ano na magiging relationship ng mga parents sa teachers? Kasi iba na nga ngayon e, parents na ang magbabantay sa mga students. So baka kailangan gumawa rin kayo ng for example Viber group ang PTA sa mga teachers, mga ganon na use of technology," Binay said. (What will the relationship be among parents and teachers? It'll be different now, as parents will have to monitor the students. There may be a need to make adjustments, such as a Viber group for the parent-teacher association, among other uses of technology.)

Following President Rodrigo Duterte's directive of "no vaccine, no classes", the DepEd said on Monday, June 8, it would postpone face-to-face classes until a vaccine against COVID-19 becomes available.

The President also expressed doubts about the country's capability to implement Briones' idea. (READ: Duterte on DepEd's distance learning: 'I don't know if we're ready')

Despite calls for delaying classes, the DepEd said that its preparation for the blended learning or distance learning approach is "underway" so classes can start on August 24. (READ: Teachers' group wants class opening delayed to January 2021)

Distance learning means lessons will be delivered outside the traditional face-to-face or in-person setup. (READ: FAST FACTS: DepEd’s distance learning)

The decision to open schools in the middle of the health crisis had been met with criticism. (READ: No student left behind? During pandemic, education 'only for those who can afford')

Parents and students pointed out that the lockdown affected household finances. Many Filipinos don't even have access to a computer or the internet.

As of Thursday, the DepEd said that over 9 million public and private schools students have signed up for the opening of classes on August 24.

The enrollment for basic education for this school year is being done remotely through phone or online platforms, and will last until June 30, the DepEd said. (READ: Remote enrollment in basic education will be implemented during pandemic)

Students who cannot enroll using any remote method, according to the DepEd, will be allowed in the last two weeks of June to physically register while observing physical distancing and health safety standards. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

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