Attached herewith is the DepEd Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan in the Time of COVID-19, enclosure to DepEd Order No. 12, s. 2020. For information and guidance.
Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan in the Time of COVID-19 (BE-LCP)
As Secretary of the Department of Education, I am proud to introduce our Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan in the time of COVID-19 (BE-LCP). This is the Department’s response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 in the field of basic education. I have always maintained that education must continue, whatever the changes and even dangers we confront now and in the future.
Our Learning Continuity Plan is not the work of one person alone. It is truly an integrated output of the Department. BE-LCP is the result of consultations with partners and advisers, legislators, executives and directors, teachers, parents, learners, and the general public. All these contributions were integrated and harmonized by the Executive Committee and Management Committee under my direction and drafted by my Under seer etary and Chief of Staff.
In particular, BE-LCP is the result of inputs from different units and field offices of the Department; advice from the Philippine Forum for Inclusive Quality Basic Education or Edlic Forum; counsel from the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Committees on Basic Education; an online survey of more than 700,000 respondents; and a survey of teachers’ readiness for distance learning delivery.
BE-LCP covers the essential requirements of education in the time of COVID-19, e.g. most essential learning competencies, multiple learning delivery modalities for teachers, school leaders and learners, required health standards in schools and workplaces, and special activities like Brigada Eskwela, Oplan Balik Eskwela, and partnerships.
The academic school calendar for 2020-2021 is also included in this volume. We believe that many of the questions, which cue raised by parents, teachers, and the public, will be answered by the publication of the calendar. Other important guidelines to fully operationalize the BE-LCP will be issued during plan implementation.
The Department is making BE-LCP available to all who have an interest in, and unfailing commitment to education. Even before COVID-19 unleashed its fury on the international community and the country, DepEd already saw the increasing role of technology in education. At the same time, it also saw the future beyond COVID-19. The Department realized the need to enrich the humanities in order to ensure that we will be nurturing and teaching humans, and not robots.
In conclusion, the Department thanks all who have contributed to the preparation of this volume. Together, let us face the challenges of the “new normal” with the virtues of the “old normal” — courage, faith, adventure, and discovery!
Professor Emeritus Leonor Magtolis Briones
Secretary of Education
The global outbreak of the highly contagious new strain of coronavirus known as COVID-19, for which there is yet no vaccine, continues to pose unprecedented challenges. At this point, the biggest impact of COVID-19 arises from the need to practice stringent social or physical distancing to prevent or mitigate its spread. For the Department of Education (DepEd), this meant the cancellation of classes and other school activities for the remaining weeks of School Year (SY) 2019-2020, and that for SY 2020-2021, schools must find ways for learning to continue amidst the threat and uncertainties brought about by COVID-19, while ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all learners, teachers, and personnel of the Department.
In the development of this Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP), inputs from different units and field offices of the Department, from the Philippine Forum for Inclusive Quality Basic Education or Edtic Forum, and from the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Committees on Basic Education, Rep. Roman Romulo and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, respectively, were gathered.
In the integr ation of inputs into the BE-LCP, the Office of the Secretary was guided by the following principles:
- Protect the health, safety and well-being of learners, teachers, and personnel, and prevent the further transmission of COVID-19;
- Ensure learning continuity through K-12 curriculum adjustments, alignment of learning materials, deployment of multiple learning delivery modalities, provision of corresponding training for teachers and school leaders, and proper orientation of parents or guardians of learners;
- Facilitate the safe return of teaching and nonteaching personnel and learners to workplaces and schools, taking into consideration the scenarios projected by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Philippines (IATF), complemented by other credible sources, and balanced with DepEd’s own risk assessments;
- Be sensitive to equity considerations and concerns, and endeavor to address them the best we can; and
- Link and bridge the BE-LCP to DepEd’s pivot to quality and into the future of education, un
In developing the BE-LCP, the Department analyzed data on basic education as well as the epidemiological picture for the incoming school year, to make informed decisions. It is in this light that DepEd has set the opening of SY 2020-2021 on August 24, 2020, allowing enough time to undertake the necessary preparations for the extraordinarily challenging school year.
The key elements of the learning strategies that shall operationalize the BE-LCP are the streamlining of the K to 12 Curriculum into the Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCs), and allowing of multiple learning delivery modalities such as distance learning and blended learning, either on top or in place of face-to-face learning. To help learners, parents, and teachers implement these learning delivery modalities, Self-Learning Modules (SLMs) shall be made available in print and offline/online digital formats, for use this incoming school year. DepEd shall also tap the materials developed by various partners and entities such as Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Center for Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO-INNOTECH), BASA Pilipinas, Knowledge Channel, Frontleamers Inc., and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), among many others.
The learning outcomes in the form of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values will be assessed through a portfolio/ e-portfolio to include written works and performances (and products), whether hardcopy, softcopy or a combination of these, and through summative tests as conditions allow. The administration of national examinations shall continue amidst COVID-19.
To prepare our teachers and school leaders for multiple learning delivery modalities, they shall be capacitated to implement the learning delivery system, consistent with DepEd’s professional development framework and professional standards, and the transformation of the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP). They will be introduced to learning delivery modalities that they can readily utilize depending on community context and be provided with tools and mechanisms to inform their decision-making. To ensure the seamless transition of learning activities into formats appropriate to platforms and learning delivery modalities they will adopt, capacity building will be implemented beginning in June until July 2020. Support mechanisms shall also be established to provide teachers and school leaders access to on-demand technical and administrative advice and guidance.
Adjustments will also apply to the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
In operationalizing the BE-LCP, required health standards shall be enforced to reduce vulnerability, transmission, contact, and duration of the infection. DepEd shall ensure readiness of school facilities, learners, teaching and non-teaching personnel, school administrators, and the community in time for the school opening in August.
The BE-LCP has been designed with a legal framework responsive to the “new normal”, keeping in mind the constitutional mandate to uphold the right of all citizens to quality education at all times. The Department also reviewed and assessed the programs, projects, and activities outlined in the plan and their corresponding budgetary implications. The available program funds are being maximized, reprogrammed, or realigned to the programs, projects, and activities that shall require more funding support. However, there is still a need to provide substantial and additional financial resources from known and potential sources of funds.
Conununications shall play a major role in implementing the BE-LCP with the appreciation and support of our key stakeholders. Communications efforts shall be directed by the Centred Office to ensure unified branding while still being anchored on grassroots contexts to make them responsive to localized needs. Synergy and coordination with national government media channels (Presidential Communications Operations Office/PCOO, DOH and IATF) shall also be ensured. The setting up of new media platforms, formation of Crisis Conununications Management Team, and development of Public Health Information Protocols shall be the focus of these efforts anchored on the core principles of being proactive, cooperative, responsive, and highly engaged with the multiple publics of the Department.
Finally, a Monitoring & Evaluation framework tailored to the needs of learners during this emergency has been adopted to further guide the Department in its implementation of the BE-LCP.
The decision to open classes on August 24, 2020 was made in consideration of socio-economic factors, such as the need to: 1) avoid prolonged school disruption, which is associated with a range of social risks for the youth; 2) encourage education-related economic activity; and 3) resume school-managed support systems such as the School-Based Feeding Program, among others. On the other hand, we also anticipate that differences in socio-economic status, indicated by internet access at home and by readiness to engage in blended or distance learning, will affect the quality of learning during the roll-out of this learning continuity plan, and DepEd must address and mitigate these.
The Department also faces a number of security factors in these times of uncertainty, including the need to address the climate of fear among students, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders, to strengthen coordination and cooperation at national and local levels, and to mobilize partnerships and its broad constituency for support. Mechanisms such as the DepEd Task Force COVID-19 for quick monitoring and response, and the reconfigured Oplan Balik Eskwela and Bi igada Eswkela, have been put in place to address these security concerns.
With a learner-oriented framework, the reforms articulated in the BE-LCP cue aligned with the four pillars of Sulong Edukalidad: K to 12 curriculum review and update; improving the learning environment; teachers’ upskilling and reskilling; and engagement of stakeholders for support and collaboration. These pillars shall be implemented with emphasis on INNOVATION, AGILITY, and SYNERGY. Sulong Edukalidad, BE-LCP, and the futures of the Philippine education cue united by our goals for and with every learner: agency and self-actualization, work readiness, and responsible citizenship. Thus, it is important that the BE-LCP shall be guided by life-long, life-wide, life-deep, and life-wise learning principles.
The BE-LCP lays down the direction for basic education in the coming school year. Implementation specifics will be embodied in appropriate guidelines, rules or directives, and operationalized through programs, projects and activities.
DepEd has historically demonstrated resilience in responding to adversities and in delivering its commitments and responsibilities. Nonetheless, the implementation of the BE-LCP will not be easy. It is also not a perfect plan, and operational complications can be expected along the way. Thus, we seek the understanding, support, and solidarity of our DepEd family and all our stakeholders, in the true spirit of unity, and bayanihan or mutual help.