Because of the current situation, the Department of Education (DepEd) was urged to formulate a pass or fail system to have a more flexible and versatile system for measuring the effectiveness and the efficiency of the students. With the school year coming to a tighter resumption, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines (ACT), made and sent a recommendation to the DepEd about this plan.
ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said that for them, this move would keep the main objective of education; and that is to put more value in learning than just “having high grades.”
This, to us, is more in keeping with education’s objective of arming our youth amid the crises, instead of alienating them from their surroundings and adding unnecessary pressure onto their lives.”
As per the group, this mechanism or system would help enhance and develop the student’s ability to apply the lessons they’re learning in real life. What they’re looking for is to eradicate unnecessary pressure in their lives; and so that students can apply the lessons they learn at home even in the middle of the pandemic.
More Humane Evaluation
In addition to that, the DepEd also gave some guidelines so that they can have a “more humane evaluation;” they aim to have a grading system for education that would be fit to the “new normal.” To do this, the ACT advised that the grades of the students should be in line with how the students would be well-versed to understand what they’re learning.
The more relaxed grading mechanism will greatly help teachers and students as they navigate the drastic changes in teaching and learning amid the pandemic.”
To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DepEd created the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan or the BE-LCP; in which it features a standardized and an improved curriculum through the Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCs).
Basilio explained that the DepEd’s plans of changing up the learning methods would not be effective in terms of how they were measuring grades before. He explains that it will not be very effective and applicable to distance and blended learning; this will be different because of certain factors – one of which includes the limited interaction of the students with each other and with their instructors.
These obviously will not be applicable to distance learning, particularly the most preferred modular system and the TV/radio-based instruction modalities where teacher-student interaction is limited to clarificatory Q&As and the exchange of old and new modules.”
DepEd’s Response to the Pass or Fail System Proposal
The DepEd defied the proposal as a response to the suggestion of the ACT. Leonor Briones, DepEd Secretary said that there would be a lot of negative implication to this change. She further explains that even if we want to make things comfortable for students, it wouldn’t guarantee that their opportunity for learning would be better.
What would be the effect on the drive and the push for excellence on these? And what will be the effect overall.”
She says that as the country’s Education Department, it is their goal to help students become more excellent; perform better; and to have the skills to compete internationally.
So isipin natin ‘yan [So let us think of such implications], because even as we want to make everything comfortable, safe, and loving for learners and teachers, we also want them to achieve the learning objectives which we have set for ourselves especially the expectation for better performance, not only for national assessments but international assessments.”
Extra Work for Teachers
Diosdado San Antonio, DepEd Secretary for Curriculum and Instruction said that his department already made a consultation about the said proposal. In response to it, they finalized that this school year, schools should still observe the numeric grading system.
Not doing so would not only mean more work for teachers; it can also be confusing for how students can get scholarships in certain schools. If they are going to do so, they would have to change everything up.
Itong mga ito ang mga dahilan kung bakit nakikita natin na ang numerical rating ay mas angkop kahit meron tayong COVID-19, kasi kailangan mabigyan din talaga ng motibasyon ang mga bata para sila ay mas maging interesadong mag-aral.”
In Translation: These are the main reasons why we see the numerical rating more appropriate and more effective even amid the COVID-19 pandemic; we still need to give students the motivation to push with their studies.
What do you think about the pass or fail system that the ACT advised? Do you think that it’s going to be more effective than how the traditional system works?