Solon proposes ‘pass or fail grading’ for first term of classes this school year
MANILA, Philippines — House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. has called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to pilot test first its planned learning modes as he also proposed the adoption of a “pass or fail” grading system for the first term of classes as teachers and students adjust to the “new system.”
In a press briefing on Thursday, Abante sought prudence in the grading system for the first term of classes as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, prompting the education department to implement alternative modes of learning.
“For this school year, given all the adjustments students and teachers must make, it may be prudent to adopt a pass or fail grading system in the first term as everyone adjusts to the new system,” Abante said.
“May learning curve po ito, kahit para sa magulang, so the focus should be on education per se and not the grades of these pupils,” the lawmaker added.
Abante also proposed that pilot testing of the “new system” of learning could be done in select areas “so that whatever problems that are identified can be addressed before we scale up to the full roll-out of the system.”
“We agree that face-to-face classes should be suspended until vaccines are available or until we are 100 percent sure that the outbreak has been contained,” said Abante.
“DepEd says they will be able to continue with classes via alternative modes, like distance education and online learning. But the infrastructure and equipment challenges are considerable, and we still have to consider the training our teachers will require under this new set up,” Abante said.
DepEd reported that only 15.9 million students for K-12 public and private schools have enrolled, 12 million pupils short of the 28 million target earlier set by Education Secretary Leonor Briones.
Abante said the fears of parents are understandable, saying that until there is a vaccine, no parent will be comfortable sending their children to school.
Meanwhile, ACT-Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro proposed that the education department utilize an “adaptive temporary non-formal education as opposed to the learning continuity program.”
Castro explained that adaptive temporary non-formal education involves adapting education curricula to the environment and circumstances of the student, such as learning programs revolving around agriculture in countryside areas instead of a more formal, structured curriculum.
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