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  • DepEd On What To Expect This School Year: Sharing Modules, TV Lectures, No Exams, And More

    Here's what you need to know so far about what to expect this school year.
    by Rachel Perez .
  • PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano

    After pushing back the start of the school year from August 24 to October 5, 2020, the Department Of Education (DepEd) bares the teachers’ and students’ difficulties. 

    Unlike some private schools, over 24 million student students enrolled in public schools will have to adjust to the challenges along the way. Education Secretary Leonor Briones is adamant for classes to start in October despite the many challenges. 

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    Here are a few things parents should know about the upcoming school year. 

    Asynchronous online classes for the first quarter

    During the Senate hearing on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan admitted that fluctuating internet speeds may force public schools to rely on asynchronous learning, at least during the first quarter. 

    It means that learning materials will be distributed online, but students can work on them on their own time. Not all students have similar internet speeds, which may be a problem for holding lectures online, as some private schools do. (Read more about it here.)

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    Students may have to share copies of learning modules 

    Due to budget cuts, students who opted for modular learning may have to share self-learning modules this school year. Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said at the House of Representatives budget hearing on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, they lack funds to print one module per student.

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    DepEd proposed a Php34 billion budget to provide one self-learning module per student, but the approved budget was only Php15 billion allocated for printing modules. 

    Expect 130 TV lecture episodes per week

    TV is another learning resource the DepEd will use to teach students since face-to-face classes are still prohibited. It’s eyeing to put out 130 lecture episodes per week, airing from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m on weekdays. Watch it on IBC 13, PTV4, Solar TV, Planet Cable, the Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association, and Cignal TV. Another dry-run will happen from September 21 to 25.

    DepEd Director Abram Abanil, who spoke during the Senate hearing, shared that each lecture episode will last around 20 minutes and five-minute breaks in between. They will cover only the major subject areas under the most essential learning competencies and already includes sign language instructions.

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    Still, the department is eyeing to boost the number of episodes to 220 episodes per week by January 2020. It also has plans to dub kindergarten to grade 3 lecture episodes into 19 local languages. 

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    No periodical exams; appeals to uphold honesty

    On Monday, September 14, 2020, DepEd announced that it will do away with periodical exams to avoid cheating. San Antonio said the students’ grades will be primarily based on written output and performance tasks.

    “This is the best time for us, so we are appealing to the parents, grandparents, and adults to help DepEd actually reinforce the value of honesty,” San Antonio added.

    Quarantine status may affect class suspensions

    Along with inclement weather, class suspensions will also depend on the city or municipalities’ quarantine classifications. DepEd, however, has yet to come up with a new policy on suspending classes. It could also be up to the local government units like before. 

    The rule of thumb is that when Signal Number 2 storm is up, classes are already suspended. However, Malaluan also cited other considerations, such as delivery and pick up of learning resources, and suspended communication capabilities. 

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