Blended learning is targeted to start this school year for some pilot schools

Last Monday, September 6, DepEd (Department of Education) Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan announced at the Laging Handa public briefing that there will be a pilot-run of face-to-face classes for lower grade levesl.

Dahil sa rekomendasyon ng DOH (Department of Health) at medical experts na ating kinonsulta ay mag-focus lamang po tayo doon sa first key stage, iyung kindergarten (Because of the recommendation of DOH and the medical experts whom we have consulted, we will be focusing on the first key stage which is the kindergarten),” says the undersecretary.

Schoolgirl and schoolboy going to school flat vector illustration. Couple pupils with medical masks on their faces holding hands isolated cartoon characters. Two elementary school students with backpacks waving hand and greeting

Because kindergarten classes only lasts for three hours, Malaluan believes, “Activities in school are mainly reinforcing activities to what will still be predominantly distance learning,” he says, noting that there were be precautionary measures that will be implemented. Only 12 kindergarten students will also be allowed per classroom, while there will only be 16 students per classroom in grade levesl 1, 2, and 3. Airconditioning units will also not run, with doors and windows opened for proper ventilation.

A hundered and twenty public and private schools is projected to join the pilot test, but this proposal is still for approval by the president. “DepEd and DoH have joined forces to craft the joint guidelines, which have been presented to the Intertask Agency Task Force in July, but ultimately, it will be upon the President to decide whether he will approve of our proposal,” adds Malaluan.

He also added that participation will be voluntary, and the reason for this pilot is for the students who are lagging behind in terms of the academic grades. Selection of schools will most likely be in remote areas with lower COVID-19 cases. “Ang initial reaction ng Presidente, kung talagang pilot at sa mga areas na mababa talaga ang kaso (The initial reaction of the President, if it’s really pilot and in areas with lower cases), he may allow it,” explains Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

“It is a multi-disciplinary issue now involving the health department because of impact on children’s mental well-being and their socialization skills,” adds Roque. Blended learning is targeted to commence for this school year 2021 to 2022 this September 13.

Source: Manila Bulletin (