The chairman of the Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture on Tuesday said the scheduled opening of classes in Cebu City on August 24, using Self-Learning Modules (SLM) as an alternative modality, might still be postponed.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said because of the “very unpredictable” situation of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) contagion, there could be a possibility that even the start of distance learning will be delayed.
Gatchalian, who visited Cebu City Hall to turn over PHP2 million worth of goods donated by his family, said the education sector has been considering the improvement of the Covid-19 situation in some localities in the country in deciding on the opening date of classes for the school year 2020-2021.
“May mga lugar na nag-improve ang situation. For example, in Regions 2 and 3, ang improvement nila ay napakabilis. In other words, doon sa mga lugar na low risk puede ituloy ang distance learning (There are places where the situations are improving. For example, in Regions 2 and 3, they are fast improving. In other words, in low-risk places, distance learning can be allowed to push through),” he said.
Although no face-to-face classes will be held, Gatchalian said the risk of exposing teachers or parents to the virus should also be taken into consideration as the new modality requires teachers to go house-to-house to deliver the learners’ modules.
“Ngayon (Now), of course, if an area will continue to have high infection rate, there is a possibility to postpone even the distance learning because we have to remember, yung SLM idedeliver yan sa bahay ng bata or pipik-apin ng magulang (the SLM will be delivered to the house of the child or to be picked up by the parent). Ngayon kung ang lugar talaga grabe yung (Now if the area has high) infection even that pick up and delivery of SLM will become a problem,” he said.
The senator said if the situation worsens, “we will see in areas where distance learning is impossible, we will recommend to postpone to a further date”.
Department of Education (DepEd)-Central Visayas regional director Salustiano Jimenez said all school divisions in the region are now readying for the August 24 opening of classes using SLMs as an alternative learning delivery modality to various types of students across the region.
Jimenez said the DepEd-7 will do a trial run on SLM between the last week of July until the second week of August.
Meanwhile, Mayor Edgardo Labella thanked Gatchalian for the 600 sacks of 50-kilo rice, 20,000 assorted canned goods, 50,000 packs of noodles, and 100,000 pieces of surgical masks.
Gatchalian, in his speech during a simple ceremony in front of the Cebu City Hall, hoped that the city could soon overcome the Covid-19 crisis. (PNA)