With the opening of public schools of the Department of Education this week for Academic Year 2021, some questions have been raised on the DepEd learning delivery modalities for the next 10 months.
For instance, what is Distance Learning? This refers to a learning delivery modality where learning takes place between the teacher and the learners who are geographically remote from each other during instruction.
What is Modular Distance Learning? Learning here is in the form of individualized instruction that allows learners to use self-learning modules in print or digital format/electronic copy, whichever is applicable in the context of the learner and other learning resources like Learner’s Materials, textbooks, activity sheets, study guides and other study materials.
What about Online Distance Learning? This features the teacher facilitating learning and engaging learners’ active participation using various technologies accessed through the internet while they are geographically remote from each other during instruction.
And Home Schooling? This is an alternative delivery mode that aims to provide learners with equal access to quality basic education through a home-based environment to be facilitated by qualified parents, guardians or tutors who have undergone relevant training.
What about Blended Learning? This refers to a learning modality that allows for a combination of face to face and online distance learning, face-to-face and modular distance learning, face-to-face and TV/Radio-based Instruction, and face-to-face learning and a combination with two or more types of distance learning.
And the Traditional Face-to-Face Learning? This refers to a learning delivery modality where the students and the teacher are both physically present in the classroom, and there are opportunities for active engagement, immediate feedback, and socio-emotional development of learners.
What is Alternative Delivery Modes? ADMs are tried and tested alternative modalities of education delivery within the confines of the formal system that allow schools to deliver quality education to marginalized students and those at risk of dropping out to help them overcome personal, social and economic constraints in their schooling.
The learning delivery modalities that schools can adopt may be one or a combination of the following, depending on the COVID-19 restrictions and the particular context of the learners in the school or locality.
Of all the alternative learning modalities offered by the Department of Education (DepEd) this 2020-2021 school year, most students prefer to use the “modular” distance learning option.
Since face-to-face classes are not yet allowed, the DepEd will implement Blended/Distance learning wherein the combination of the various distance learning modalities like printed modules, offline digital modules, online, and TV and Radio-based instruction will be used.
Based on the partial results of the Learner Enrollment and Survey Forms distributed during the enrollment period, it showed 7.2 million enrollees prefer to use modular distance learning, TV & Radio based instructions and other modalities while only 2 million enrolees prefer online for school year 2020-2021.
Latest data from DepEd showed that 3, 885, 427 learners prefer “modular” wherein modules – either printed or digital – will be used as an alternative learning option.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones has said when DepEd conducted a survey on school opening in April, the respondents at that time said they wanted “combination modalities” for this school year.
“But during the enrollment, we specifically asked the learners or the enrolees what do they prefer as a learning delivery mode and ‘modular’ was very much preferred,” she explained in a mix of English and Filipino.
We note that online is not the only option. Given the initial result of its survey on the preference of learners, Briones maintained that “education in the new normal is not only online” – thus, there is no need for parents and learners to buy gadgets or devices if their situation or financial status do not allow them do so.
To suit every learner’s need and capacity, Briones explained that DepEd has prepared different learning delivery modalities for them.
“DepEd puts focus on self-learning modules as the primary learning tool that can cater to all students, which can then be blended with other learning delivery modalities that the student has access to,” she explained.
Using blended/distance learning modalities, Briones explained that lessons will be delivered to the students in their homes through printed modules prepared for learners who have limited access or have absolutely no access to internet and digital services; via online learning resources such as the DepEd Commons; and Television or radio-based instruction.
Briones noted DepEd remains committed to its mandate to deliver quality education, no matter the circumstance.
“We believe and support our local government units and the Department of Information and Communications Technology are working hard to ensure that areas in the Philippines get better connectivity, which can greatly help in the implementation of blended learning,” she added.