DepEd rejects ‘pass-or-fail’ grading system for distance learning
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday thumbed down the suggestion of a coalition of teachers about adopting a “pass-or-fail” grading system for distance learning this School Year (SY) 2020-2021.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones raised concerns on the possible implication of such a scheme to high-performing schools and students.
“What would be the effect on the drive and the push for excellence on these? And what will be the effect overall?” she told an online press briefing.
“So isipin natin ‘yan (So let us think of such implications), because even as we want to make everything comfortable, safe, and loving for learners and teachers, we also want them to achieve the learning objectives which we have set for ourselves especially the expectation for better performance, not only for national assessments but international assessments,” Briones further explained.
In urging DepEd to consider utilizing the pass-or-fail system, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers on Saturday challenged the continued use of the numeric grading scheme which it said would be unfair to underprivileged students.
DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio also said his office has previously consulted their field offices about the proposal but officials agreed that the numeric grading system should still be observed for the school year.
He noted that imposing a pass-or-fail system will also mean additional work for teachers who would have to again study a new system for passing students. He said DepEd does not want to impose additional workload for teachers during this time of coronavirus pandemic.
Moreover, he pointed out that grades will be needed by universities and colleges in granting scholarships to students.
“Itong mga ito ang mga dahilan kung bakit nakikita natin na ang numerical rating ay mas angkop kahit meron tayong COVID-19, kasi kailangan mabigyan din talaga ng motibasyon ang mga bata para sila ay mas maging interesadong mag-aral,” San Antonio said.
(These are the reasons why we see that the numerical rating is still more appropriate even if we have COVID-19 because we still need to give the students motivation to study.)
As of Monday morning, over 23.6 million learners have so far enrolled for SY 2020-2021. DepEd said this is 85 percent of last year’s 27.85 million registered students.
The opening of classes in public schools has been moved from the original date of August 24 to October 5. Private schools, however, were given the option not to follow the October class opening and to resume classes this month.
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