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DepEd urged to tap PTAs to prevent spike in dropout rate amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Department of Education (DepEd) should mobilize parent-teacher associations (PTA) in the country in its preparations for the upcoming opening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said Thursday.

In a statement, the chairman of the Senate committee on education emphasized that these organizations would play an important role in ensuring that students will be enrolled despite the ongoing health crisis.

Gatchalian recognized that some parents would opt not to process the admission of their children to schools due to the threats of COVID-19.

“Bago pa muling buksan ang mga klase, dapat ngayon pa lang ay makipag-ugnayan na ang DepEd sa PTA upang mabigyang linaw ang anumang tanong o pangamba ng ating mga magulang at mga guro,” the senator said, noting that they should be informed of the minimum health standards that will be followed by the education sector.

This coordination would also prepare both teachers and parents to adjust and prepare for the alternative platforms of learning that will be used, as face-to-face classes remain to be risky in many areas, he said.

Parents and guardians must also be equipped in providing psychosocial support to their children as they transition to the new normal. They should foster a "safe and productive learning environment," according to the senator.

The DepEd announced that School Year 2020-2021 will start on August 24 using "blended forms" of learning to ensure the welfare of over 27 million basic education students and 1.2 million teaching ang non-teaching personnel at public and private schools in the country.

Aside from using the internet, TV, and radio as alternative modes of delivery of lessons, the DepEd said it will coordinate with local authorities in the distribution of  printed learning modules to students to facilitate distance learning.—AOL, GMA News