Issue of July 26, 2020
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No high-tech gadgets needed for SY 2020-2021 in Benguet
by Ofelia C. Empian

Most households in Benguet have television and radio sets in their homes that has led the Department of Education- Benguet to make use of these equipment for the opening of school year 2020 - 2021 tentatively scheduled on Aug. 24. 

DepEd-Benguet Superintendent Benilda Daytaca said that survey shows that households have radio and TV sets with USB ports.

She said most of the learners preferred modular and blended learning, the latter a combination of online and module-based learning. She said all the learners will undergo the same lessons in whatever learning modalities they have chosen including online.

As for learners without TV or radio sets in their homes, Daytaca said they will be partnering with other groups or individuals willing to provide radios with USB ports. This will then be loaned to the learners so they could listen to the lessons as a guide for their modules.

Rizalyn Guznian, chief of the DepEd Curriculum Implementation Division, said the video modules that will be copied on flashdisks, either provided by the parent or DepEd, will be played back by the learners. The 10 to 15-minute video module contains the lessons. The video, which is also translated in various local languages, can be converted into mp3 file format so that even those using radio could hear the instruction for the lesson.

Guznian said they have developed 1,500 printable modules and still producing more printed and video modules for the different learners of Benguet.

A total of 74,383 learners from kinder to senior high school out of the targeted 82, 284 learners in Benguet have enrolled for school year 2020 to 2021 in the province.

Daytaca said there is an ongoing mapping of teachers and learners to determine the availability of teachers within a sitio as well as the status learners in the area.

She said the learners would then be clustered in a particular area, then the available teachers living or near the area would be the one to assist the different learners.

“We understand there are parents who are not able to assist their children so we map the location of the teachers who will assist the learners in need,” she said.

In sitios without permanent teachers, DepEd is coordinating with retired teachers and other volunteer teachers or the so-called para-teachers to assist these learners.

They also have a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine National Police, where they submitted areas without volunteer teachers for them to assist.

“So what happens is that the teacher in an area would become a multi-level teacher as they would be assisting learners in various levels. We make sure that there is an available knowledge source for the learners,” she said.

She added they are now working also for the reassignment of teachers for them to assist in the area where they are. The challenge would be for the secondary level because of the needed specialization of the teachers.

Daytaca said they already have met with the league of mayors twice where the local government units, including the Office of the Governor and the provincial board have committed P32 million from their respective special education and regular funds.

The fund would be used for the development and reproduction of modules by acquiring duplicator and risograph machines. She said it would be costly if the modules are reproduced through printing press that’s why they have decided to acquire the machines instead.

She also assured the quality of the modules, as it passes through several processes prior to being distributed to the learners.

She said the various LGUs and other stakeholders are also currently conducting information campaign for parents to enroll their children. Enrollment is still ongoing.

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