After the Department of Education (DepEd) said that it’s going to be up to the findings of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), as well as the President, to come up with when classes should reopen again, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is looking at the option of rolling opening of classes.
This, however, applies to colleges and universities for the Academic Year (A.Y.) 2020- 2021 ONLY; and it’s still going to be based on the situation. But under this proposal, things can be a bit clearer for schools and learning institutions.
Read more here: School Year Opening in August – Planned by the DepEd
Prospero de Vera III, CHED Chairman, said that this system would allow Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) to decide. The decision on opening their classes would be in their hands. In addition to that, he also said that there’s already proposals for the rolling opening of classes.
There is a proposal for a rolling opening of classes. Those universities ready with a flexible learning system, they can open in August. For those who have difficulty, they can open later.”
Under such structure, schools and learning institutions that have means can open in August. Meaning, they’ll be able to adjust the learning process of the students; it can be done through the location of the students and the structure of the learning system. On the other hand, those who are finding it difficult to do so can do later.
Preventing the spread of the COVID-19
All of these reasons boil down to the fact of the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ); and it’s all about the prevention of the COVID-19 spread.
Both DepEd and CHED have been looking closely, weighing their options to open the classes for A.Y. 2020-2021. Their thought, of course, is for the safety of the students as well as the school staff.
I have submitted the position of the Commission to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) last week and the position of the Commission is to do a rolling opening of classes.”
According to de Vera, flexible learning would include online learning. In addition to that, it’s toward the direction of being more prevalent and practiced in higher education, in comparison to basic education.
When we design the opening of classes, we must seriously discuss with private universities and capacitate them on how to go about flexible learning. We are also helping the universities. We are discussing with them how to set up their learning management system.”
De Vera said that there were a couple of schools that have been adjusting; they’ve been engaging in flexible learning even before the outbreak. Thus, these schools can start on the “new normal.”
The schools that have used the flexible learning style include: the Mapua University; the De La Salle University (DLSU); Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU); the University of the Philippines Open University (UP Open-U); and the University of Sto. Tomas.
But amid the rolling opening of classes, Harry Roque, the Presidential Spokesperson, said September is the most recommended option of class opening — he said that it’s suggested by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
This is because of the fact that a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) may be carried out even after the ECQ. The GCQ, as a matter of fact, would still not allow mass gatherings such as:
- Church masses
- Music festivals
- Olympic games
- And many more
As per him, the goal of these flexible programs is to decongest schools and to keep people from closely interacting with each other.
Training program for teachers and instructors
In addition to the rolling opening of classes, de Vera said that they’re also looking at the possibility of rolling out a training program for teachers, professors, and instructors in terms of flexible learning programs any time this month.
With all of these in place, what do you think the outcome would be for our educational system? Do you think that the plan of rolling opening of classes would work? Can this be effectively adapted by all schools and learning institutions in the country?
It is of course for everyone’s safety but how can this go down? It’s clear that every little thing that the government does is for the security and the well-being of people; so let’s wait for further announcement about how this is going to be in effect.