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OPINION: Remote enrollment woes show red flags of blended learning

A photo of a boy enrolling himself late at night went viral this week after it tugged heartstrings on the difficulties of some students in the shift to blended learning.

While many praised the boy’s dedication and perseverance to enroll himself, even paying with coins at an internet café, the incident is only one of too many red flags that serve as a preview of the problems that will emerge once blended learning begins.

Blended learning, as much as the government advocates for it, is not inclusive especially in the current situation of the Philippines where several provinces remain unreachable not just by internet connection but even by a simple car drive.

The problems of blended learning are already visible in the poor enrollment turnout as many parents are simply unable to enroll their children online.

Even with the drop box system of DepEd, many families were still unable to travel to schools to enroll their children.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Tuesday had said that there is no “one size fits all” for the shift to ‘blended’ learning as different regions in the country have different capabilities and limitations.

 “Bawat rehiyon, kaniya-kaniya silang gawa ng paraan kung paano ito matugunan ang pangangailangan ng pag-aaral ng mga bata. Kaya bawat rehiyon, iba’t iba iyong kanilang implementation side,” she said.

(Each region should have different ways on how to respond to the education needs of students. Every region has a different way to do it.)

But differences in education approaches means that there will also be different results.

With more than a month to go, the education department should take a hard look on its plan to push through with blended learning in August and weigh its pros and cons.

After all, education should be a right and not just a privilege for those who can.

(Photos courtesy of Peter Salire De Guzman)


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