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Psycho-social aid for tutors, students to be conducted before opening of classes

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol regional office said proper psycho-social activities will be conducted for teachers and learners before the opening of classes on Aug. 24 this year to ensure their sound mental and emotional conditions as part of adaptation with the challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Mayflor Marie Jumamil, DepEd-Bicol spokesperson, said psycho-social activities are already part of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) that will be implemented for this school year.

“As of now, meron na tayong (we already have) trained individuals that will conduct psycho-social first aid (PFA). They are DepEd nurses, guidance counselors, disaster risk reduction management coordinators and not necessarily psychologists or psychiatrists,” Jumamil said.

She said as of Friday, June 19, some 757,624 learners were already enrolled in the region.

“These are enrollment conducted through the kiosk, dropbox, and online. We are expecting it will continue to increase. From the public, we have 716, 412 while in private, 41,212, the majority of whom is from elementary, followed by junior high school, senior high school, and kindergarten. We also have from alternative learning systems and learners with disabilities,” she said.

Meanwhile, Gilbert Sadsad, DepEd-Bicol regional director, said they have been relentless in informing the public that DepEd-Bicol will implement blended learning for all students.

“It will be most flexible in providing alternative delivery modes to our learners to avoid creating further stresses to our learners and parents amid the Covid-19 pandemic. We cannot discount the fact that we also have to consider the extreme vulnerability of our learners to depression and emotional breakdowns,” he said. Sadsad added that an online mode of learning is not the primary consideration of DepEd-Bicol because many students do not have electronic gadgets.

“Initial mapping of our resources implies that blended learning or modular learning, which uses printed learning materials, is more favorable for the majority of our learners,” he said.

DepEd-Bicol has developed SMILE, an adaptive and flexible learning strategy for the learners. It stands for: S- Security and Safety; M-Modalities of Learning; I-In Service Training; L-Learning Resources; and E-Engagement of Stakeholders.

“We are also assuring the public that the SMILE Learning Continuity Plan of Bicol region is developed to be the most responsive for all Bicolano learners,” Sadsad said. (PNA)

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