Senator Win Gatchalian is urging local government units (LGUs) to help the Department of Education (DepEd) in localizing the Learning Continuity Plan (LCP), a move that he says would respond to the specific needs and concerns of learners, parents, and teachers when classes reopen.
Since connectivity and the availability of gadgets remain a challenge to most learners, Gatchalian said there is a need to identify and maximize alternative learning modalities that are most accessible, especially in far-flung and disadvantaged areas. While some LGUs are distributing gadgets and internet load for their learners, Gatchalian acknowledged that others only have minimal resources to support the use of self-learning modules or radio and television-based instruction.
This is where mapping plays a key role, Gatchalian said, since it helps both the DepEd and the LGUs decide on the modes of distance learning to be adopted and the alignment in the development of learning materials.
In Valenzuela, for instance, Gatchalian shared how a survey identified Facebook Live as a preferred mode of learning for the city’s learners. This prompted the LGU to decide on distributing smartphones so that learners can watch lessons delivered on Facebook Live sessions.
Gatchalian is also pushing for the creation of a Safe Schools Reopening Plan that institutionalizes the creation of a mapping system for hybrid learning. In Senate Bill No. 1565 or the Education in the New Normal Act, DepEd is mandated to develop a mapping system that identifies access to distance learning tools such as information and communications technology (ICT) devices, connectivity, capability, and geographical location, among others.
The proposed mapping system also looks at the needs of marginalized learners, including those who are living with disabilities, to ensure their continued education.
“Upang maging mabisa ang Learning Continuity Plan o LCP na isinusulong ng DepEd, ang pagpapatupad nito ay dapat i-ayon natin sa pangangailangan at kakayahan ng bawat lungsod, munisipyo, at probinsya, lalo na’t hindi lahat ay konektado sa internet. Kaya naman mahalaga ang papel ng mga LGUs upang masigurong ang pagpapatupad ng LCP ay angkop sa sitwasyon ng mga kabataan at kanilang mga komunidad,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
In a Senate panel hearing, DepEd said it is waiting for the completion of enrollment data to finish its own mapping of distance learning modes available to learners.