Sen. Nancy Binay on Thursday asked Department of Education (DepEd) officials whether the agency had conducted school mapping to help identify which areas had the proper infrastructure to adopt new learning modalities.
With the country’s resources stretched thin due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Binay reiterated the need for the DepEd to take a more targeted approach in identifying which mode of learning would be implemented in areas across the country.
“Hindi ba ho dapat, kumbaga, limited resources na nga, very targeted ang way of training our teachers, our way of preparing our materials?” Binay said Thursday during a hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture.
School mapping is conducted to identify where the gaps and information needs of students are specially those in remote barangays and islands. It likewise helps the government in assessing actionable conditions in order to optimize delivery of learning content to students.
The DepEd replied that their data mapping is still in progress but promised to come up with its own census before the school year opens on August 24.
The education department had earlier decided to postpone the face-to-face classroom learning until a vaccine for the coronavirus has been developed.
Binay expressed bemusement that DepEd still had not conducted its school mapping.
“Kung ngayon pa lang tayo nagma-mapping, parang hindi nagiging targeted ‘yong resources na meron tayo. Hindi po ba?” she said.
“Hindi ba dapat ngayon pa lang mayroon nang ganitong mapping? Kasi iyong training na ginagawa ninyo sa mga teachers dapat angkop doon sa kakayahan ng lugar, eh. For example, let’s say Bukidnon or Cordillera na alam naman natin mahirap ang signal.
“So why would we train our teachers for an online way of teaching our kids when alam naman natin na mukhang mahirap ang ganoong klase ng pagtuturo?” Binay also said.
The senator also moved for the DepEd and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to submit whatever data they have mapped so far, especially on connectivity, so the Senate could have an idea about the country’s situation.
“Kung alam naman natin na walang signal, why waste time and effort for an online modality?”/Stacy Ang