Pandemics vs. Academics
(by Ma. Evelyn R. Reyes  1/20/2023)

It was March 16, 2020, when the Department of Education in our country was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes were stopped. Schools were closed. COVID-19 paralyzed education. Everyone lived in terror, here and abroad.
But after months, the Department of Education decided to continue education in the Philippines. With strict compliance to health and safety protocols, webinars for teachers and school administrators, parents, and communities for different learning modalities such as online platforms, modular-printed and digitized materials, radio, and blended learning, the New Normal in education was born, wherein the classes will be at home.
Students stayed in their respective houses while the teachers were in school preparing for online classes or modular classes, depending on what modalities are used in a certain school. Truly, the DepEd is ready to outsmart the COVID pandemic. Education must go on.
With the faith that the youth are the hope of tomorrow, education is worth fighting for. After two consecutive years of teaching academics through different modalities, under the new normal, education lives.
However, after having the modified face-to-face classes in January 2022, it was observed in the school reports that there were learning gaps to fill for the two consecutive school years in a new normal way.
Learners are two years behind in the competencies that they have to learn. For example, Grade 3 has the academic knowledge of Grade 1. Grade 4 has the knowledge of Grade 2, and the list went on.
Do the efforts of the institution and of the Philippine government not turn in vain? Definitely, no!
In the old normal classes, there are learners who are poor at reading English and Filipino. Even in all subjects, there are learning gaps, and what did we do? We gave them interventions and remediations until such time that they could be considered good. And for those who do not make an effort to learn, we tend to fail them. The same routine The same scheme We just have more learning gaps to fill in the New Normal. At least just the learning gaps, not the whole competencies in our curriculum.
Realizing by the department that there is an immediate need to solve the learning gaps, Learning Recovery Plan was tasked to every school to clearly address more the situation. Schools make remediation programs as to cater learners with gaps so they can keep up in the grade level they are in. Parents are strongly asked to be part of the remediation in their house, or else their children will be left far behind. Teachers accepted positively the fact that learners need them much more than they do before, so spending time for remediation with their learners poor in their academic performance especially in Reading and Numeracy, is not new to them.
Indeed, the decision of our department of education to fight for our learners' futures against the COVID-19 pandemic was not wasted.
Giving remediations, creating innovations, exercising patience and giving of love are still the keys to possibly augment the learning looses of our children from the two year pandemic. The Department of Education continues to monitor the learning recovery program. It will never surrender even in the covid-19 pandemic until we recover the looses.
Education to our children was served and is still being served and will never stop serving, Para sa Bata, para sa Bayan.

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