Manila, Philippines– The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will not go back to the face-to-face classroom interaction and will continue to adopt the policy of the flexible learning system in the current school year and thereafter, says by the CHED Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III in the webinar held on Friday, may 21.
From now on, flexible learning will be the norm. There is no going back to the traditional, full-packed face-to-face classrooms. The commission has adopted a policy that flexible learning will continue in School Year 2021 and thereafter.
If we go back to the traditional face-to-face classroom, we run the risk of exposing our stakeholders to the same risks if another pandemic comes in, and if we go back to the traditional face-to-face, we would have wasted all the investments in technology, in teacher training, in the retrofitting of our facilities
The flexible learning system combines distinct methods of teaching and different learning strategies such as using new online platforms, using technology as a learning materials or using printed modules as a substitute for learning.
“Old paradigm of face-to-face versus online will now disappear. What will happen is a flexible system where universities will mix and match flexible learning methods appropriate to their situation.” De Vera explained.
De Vera also emphasized that as universities are more prepared, the commission will continue in investing and moving ahead using their online platforms.
“Others, will be allowing some of their students to come at specific periods and do more synchronous versus asynchronous learning,” he added.
De Vera also explained that the faculty members should find their ways to adjust to a new standards and rethink for possible problems that may arise in the implementation of the new flexible learning system.
“We realized that the digital divide exacerbates difficulties in adjusting to flexible learning. But we are seeing in the experience of higher education institutions that innovation and adjustments are emerging. Meaning, both students and faculty members are able to adapt and adjust to flexible learning better now than before,” De Vera said.
“Teachers must now realize that the old norms are gone and that they must adjust to new standards, such as in engagement with students, syllabus and methodologies, assessment systems and the type of learning materials that are used,” he said.
“We will see a transition from the exam-based system that depends on knowledge creation to group work and project or task-based systems, particularly in determining how to grade our students,” he added.
DepEd: On Face-to-face classes
Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones said that the implementation for limited face-to-face classes in elementary and high school in the areas where covid-19 cases are very low is subject for the approval by the President.
Briones said that around 600 schools in low risk areas were ready for the face-to-face classes.
“Anytime the President gives us the go signal, we can open face-to-face”, she said.
“He can choose whatever date he deems appropriate in his wisdom. We are hoping that the trend in the management of COVID will improve much better”
Meanwhile, DepEd is eyeing August 23, 2021 to be the opening of classes for school year 2021-2022.
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