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DepEd: No automatic pass, promotion for students despite no face-to-face classes

There will be no automatic pass or promotion to a higher grade level for students this upcoming school year even as they are faced with the difficulty of no face-to-face classes amid the continuous threat of COVID-19, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday.

During the virtual hearing of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture, Quezon City Representative Precious Castelo asked the DepEd if all students enrolled for the upcoming school year will pass including those who will only rely on television or radio learning.

"If the child was enrolled already for that school year, considered as papasa siya," she said. "I am under the impression na walang babagsak and everybody will pass during this COVID-19 pandemic."

In response to Castelo's query, Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said the DepEd is formulating guidelines on how to assess the learning of students even if they are only getting their lessons from self-learning modules or through the means of TV, radio, or the Internet.

"Kung ang konsepto nung pagpasa na pinag-uusapan natin is automatically being promoted from one grade level to a higher grade level, walang ganun na mangyayari. Kung ang pagpasa naman na tinatanong ay 'yung dati nating ginagawa na ina-assess natin, may grado ang bawat bata bawat grading period, mangyayari pa rin 'yun," he said.

"Magkakaroon ng guidelines on how we will assess our learners, at 'yun 'yung magiging basehan kung paano natin bibigyan ng grado ang mga bata. So walang awtomatikong papasa," he added.

Education Assistant Secretary Alma Ruby Torio said they are already in the process of creating the guidelines for assessment but they are still consulting with the DepEd regional directors before submitting to their executive committee for approval.

"Hindi nangangahulugan na kung walang mobile devices 'yung mga mag-aaral natin ay hindi na sila makakapagpatuloy mag-aral kasi nandiyan 'yung mga modules natin," she said.

"Yung mga modules natin, 'yan ang foundation. 'Yan ay pwede natin i-digitize, 'yan rin yung naging basehan ng paggawa ng radio scripts at TV episodes natin," she added.

Despite appeals from various sectors, Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Wednesday insisted the opening of classes on August 24 will push through even though some areas have reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

"Tuloy pa rin. Tuloy na tuloy talaga on August 24 ang opening of classes," Briones said in a Palace briefing.

"Sa mga areas like NCR and Region 4A na under close monitoring pa, hindi sila masyadong apektado dahil lahat ng classes natin ay online walang face-to-face until next year and until the President so declares," she added. — BM, GMA News