Kindergarten students participate in the face-to-face classroom trial session at Komimbo Primary School in Makati City on December 6, 2021. Photo by J. Gerard Sego
With the face-to-face classroom pilot study taking place in 287 schools nationwide as of November 2021, the Department of Education (DepEd) reported that the majority of students who participated were satisfied with their experience.
In all, 265 public schools and 22 private schools have joined the in-person classes pilot programme.
Ninety-seven percent of learners in grades one through three said they were satisfied overall with the conduct of classes, and 86 percent of high school students said they were satisfied.
Both grades one through three and high school students reported that they were more satisfied with the delivery of the lesson by the teacher.
However, some students expressed dissatisfaction or were neutral. The biggest challenge reported by first to third graders was the difficulty of arranging seating using the physical distancing protocol, as some could not see the visual material written or posted on the board.
Meanwhile, for high school students, the primary challenges were forgetting physical distancing with classmates, feeling uncomfortable inside the classroom due to poor air circulation, and forgetting health and safety protocols while in school.
The Department of Education said it will use learner feedback to improve implementation, particularly in the expansion phase.
“We will review the reasons for those students who expressed dissatisfaction with the implementation of classes face-to-face to improve delivery in the expansion phase,” said Roger Masabul, Director of Planning Services at DepEd.
Assistant Secretary of Education for Field Operations Malcolm Jarma confirmed that no confirmed positive cases of Covid-19 were reported during the pilot study. However, there were some students who chose not to attend classes because they experienced flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough and cold.
He said the Ministry of Education is ensuring proper coordination with the Local Government Unit (LGU) to refer students for Covid-19 screening or to undergo isolation at home.
Jarma also clarified that except for those in areas under Alert Status 3, schools that started face-to-face classes during the pilot phase may continue to hold face-to-face classes with ongoing support from the LGU.
“We have already suspended the implementation of pilot classes in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila), but we would like to reiterate that the pilot classes that started last year will continue in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2 as long as we can maintain LGU approval and parental consent. to share with their children.
With this, DepEd stressed that distance learning modalities – such as modular learning, online learning, as well as TV and radio-based education – will continue despite the suspension of face-to-face lessons.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Leonor Briones said her department’s decision and next steps in the face-to-face classroom expansion phase will depend on assessment by the Department of Health (DoH) – as it prioritizes the safety of teachers and learners. .
“We are following the Department of Health’s advice to wait until January 15 – by then we may have stronger data and better news for everyone interested in education,” she said.