Tabuk City, Kalinga – Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Irene Angway presented Department of Education (DepEd) Tabuk’s challenges they are facing during the adaptation of blended education amid CoViD-19 and how they are coping with the situation.
“So this school year, for us DepEd, is way very challenging. It’s very different from how we conducted it in the past. And this time, the scope is very wide,” she announced during DepEd Tabuk’s latest Press Conference held last October 29, 2020.
Shortage of Modules
Enrolees in Public School for the new school year increased by 11.86% or 3,200 enrolled pupils and students added to the last year’s 26,954, which caused shortages in the number of modules.
The unexpected increase of enrolees in public schools is due to late enrolees, balik-aral, stranded learners, and those that came from Alternative Learning System (ALS) and/or transferred from private schools and other far flung areas.
“Ang isa diyan, maaring marami talaga tayong LSIs (Locally Stranded Individuals) na umuwi dito na galing sa ibang lugar. Galing sa Manila kaya nandito sila and that would be (one of) the reason na tumaas ito because when we look in to the family ng mga ito, marami talaga ang galing ng NCR, meron pang Region V sa Bicol,” she cited.
Angway said immediate inventory of modules printed and distributed was done in schools to determine the availability of modules to be given to additional enrolees. In-house reproduction of additional modules was also done to augment the lacking of modules.
She at the same time raised concern on the decrease of enrolees in Grades 04, Grade 08, Grade 12 and ALS. “In the ALS naman, eto yung medyo (nakakabahalasa sa atin), we could be positive as well as unless we are sure of it. It could be positive kung and dahilan ay kung pumunta sila sa formal school which could also explain yung surge sa formal school. Pero kung wala sila doon, kailangan na naming hanapin din sila, and currently again we are tracing these ones,” she informed. She announced that enrolment shall end this month of November in Public Schools.
Issues and Challenges on Learning Modalities
In the learning modalities and modules, DepEd found incomplete sets sent from the DepEd Central Office (CO) particularly on Filipino, Math, TLE, and other subjects.
She said that they have anticipated that the CO might not possibly produce all modules which led them to address the problem in the local.
“It is good that we also urged our teachers to prepare to be ready in case. Because we know how hard it is to prepare modules, we know how strenuous it is and it has to undergo many processes especially on quality assurance… And it is good that our supervisors and our teachers were also able to comply and though it is not as (inaudible) as it should be, at least hindi naman natin masasabi na tayo ay nawalan,” she said.
Too Many Activities in the Modules
Upon observation, the Division also admitted that they saw too many activities cited in the modules which resulted to students and pupils who were not able to finish them, some lost interest in answering, and that some parents opted to answer them instead.
As a solution, DepEd Tabuk followed-up the status of these modules and contextualized them and did continuous monitoring and then technical assistance especially on the issue of quality assurance and correctness.
Inability of Parents and Guardians to Assist
The DepEd also have looked into the inability of parents and guardians to assist their children (i.e. illiterate) which caused skills gap observed among learning facilitators and Para-Teachers. This also resulted to late submission of Self Learning Modules (SLMs).
To address this, DepEd Tabuk conducted home visitation, reorientation and has done close supervision in aid of Para-Teachers and their learning facilitators.
On the mother tongue based multilingual education, she mentioned that they have scheduled visits to schools and stakeholders in each school to explain the “the very reason why we are doing that, what’s the rational.”
Few Viewers and Listeners of Television and Radio Learning
Before pushing through with the Television/Radio Based Instruction (T/RBI), DepEd conducted a home survey through enrolment forms tallying almost a thousand of learners and parents who chose this kind of instructional learning, less than one thousand also chose the Radio base.
“So sabi namin – konti lang naman… but we said we cannot disregard kasi ang aim natin is nobody should be left behind. So we had to address, uray nu medyo narigat… We came to an agreement that since it is supplement, then bigyan din natin ng panahon. Buhusan din natin sila ng time,” she narrated.
But during another survey to see if learners are listening or viewing, they have founded out that “mangilan-ngilan lang but the higher the grade, the more the listener. So wala sa elementary but sa highschool, grade 07, grade 08, grade 09, grade 10, 11 and 12 nakita natin na dumadami”.
Reasons learners they saw why learners do not listen to Radyo Aral or watch the TBI according to DepEd Tabuk are: learners are not aware of the program, they tune in to other station during the scheduled airtime, they are more interested in using other gadgets, and they are more focused in answering their modules among others.
“We’re trying to address the non-awareness. Then we will decide later if we have to stop completely yung radio at sakayung TV pero titignan pa natin on the coming weeks. So hopefully after a month we will have a progress report on that,” she said.
Shortage in Educational Supplies
“Again sa issue pa rin ng mga modules natin, kulang ang gamit and there is a shortage in supply of bond papers, hindi lang bond papers kundi yung gagamitin for printing in the market. Grabe kinukulang talaga which results to delay in the reproduction of the SLM,” Angway expressed.
To address this, the division assisted different schools by giving even their own supplies to them especially schools who have not procured supplies yet.
“Even the supply of the division office ginamit din namin para sa kanila. So this was taken from our MOOE from the Division Office just so to give to our schools. Sabi ko nga kahit na kami muna mag-bond paper, sila na muna,” she related.
She added that they have requested additional fund from the CO.
These reports are based on their monitoring for the past weeks since the start of School Year (SY) 2020. According to her, DepEdTabuk did some pilot testing before the classes started but reminded that this could be different from the real situation as there might be some factors which are not present during the testing.