Return to site



· Volume III Issue III

“Learning has to progress, not to regress.”

The emergence of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 pandemic has posed educational challenges in the Philippines. Several concerns have risen up like how the Department of Education will manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education system and how they would deliver learning to pupils while ensuring well-being, health and safety. Despite the threats of the pandemic, the Department of Education announced that the School Year 2020-2021 will open on August 24. 

In the midst of this pandemic, learning should not stop; instead it should prosper and continue. It has to step up and upgrade by finding ways to extend the school and reach out all their learners by maximizing flexible learning options or multi-modal approach. The Department should provide both offline and online materials or modules anchored to the most essential skills applicable for each learner. They should plan on how they will incorporate the different modalities of teaching adhering to the advice of the Department of Health (DOH) and recommendations from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). At this point, learning takes place and the welfare, health and safety of the school learners are considered. Therefore, learning has to progress, not to regress.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones explained that opening of classes does not mean that all will go to school physically on the opening of classes. She reiterated that classes can be physical or virtual depending on the areas where physical opening of schools will be allowed by the authorities. Several preventive and protective measures should be observed and strictly implemented to prevent the spreading of virus in the school and community as well. DepEd officials should take consideration of alternative measures like reducing class hours, sending learners to home with modules, and focusing on the most essential competencies for the upcoming school year. The developed and available learning materials should be converted into printed or digital format for distribution to all the learners whether under physical, online or blended learning classes. There should be proper coordination with the LGU and other stakeholders to be the partner of the school in the distribution of the learning materials to the pupils to ensure that everyone will acquire knowledge and skills even inside their homes. Thus, learning has to progress, not to regress.

DepEd is also eyeing the use of the television and radio in delivering the lessons in areas affected by the COVID pandemic. Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian supported this idea and proposed the use of the traditional media platforms to supplement the efforts of DepEd in using digital platforms to ensure continuous learning. This is another way to connect as many learners as possible. Parents will play a significant role in assisting and supporting their children to acquire education in their homes while teachers should keep on giving advices to the parents on how to better help their children and remain connected with the schools. Again, learning has to progress, not to regress.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the pattern of the educational setting in the country. The best weapon that can help teachers and learners in responding to this gigantic crisis is to be adaptive to changes. The government may not be perfect but it has been trying its best to give solutions and overcome the learning crisis. It needs support and cooperation from its people in order to close the gaps of learning and to assure that all learners have chances to acquire quality education.  

No one knows when the Philippines will turn back to its normal phase. It is better to adjust and embrace the changes of the new normal. People are half-hearted in allowing classes to happen may it be physical or virtual because of the hindrances around, but it is also tough to let learners suffer passing by the days without learning anything. 

The country is torn between these two options:  continue learning and embrace the new normal of the education or stay still until the pandemic ends. The choice is yours.