IT IS the start of a new school year for most since it is already June. While classes are yet to open by mid-August, educators and school administrators are already on their heels preparing for a shift to a new delivery model of curricula: online classes.
In an online setting, there are a lot of limitations by which educators can conduct their classes: physical distance, reliability of internet connections, the readiness of pupils, and so much more. But, we are also not expected to complete the maximum anticipated competencies in the online setting. We have to be realistic in the way we approach classes. Minimum skills can perhaps suffice while online, and then those that need to be conducted in a typical setting can be done when things are better.
It is the predicament of our Physical Education classes. While keeping fit in this pandemic time is very important, it is the safety of children that is of utmost importance, especially that they are part of the vulnerable sectors in society. In recent weeks, there were suggestions to scrap the PE in the current online curricular offerings.
Incidentally, PSC and DepEd were in unison, stating that PE should be part of a core curriculum. We can debate on these possibilities no end.
However, this is where schools should consider an active compromise in the delivery.
Online delivery mode is considered when it is impossible to do actual physical content delivery. It is our current reality. To be able to deliver PE classes, we are not expecting students to perform actual PE routines while online without the supervision of their PE teachers. We can instead give out theories about the importance of staying healthy through proper nutrition, etc. in our preferred online platform and check on our students through assessments, etc. Physical education is not limited to activities that students can perform, but it also includes inputs, nutrition, hygiene, etc.
Apart from this, capacitating the educators on handling online instructions is the key to the delivery mode to succeed. It is also where PSC and DepEd can work together. PSC, with its resources of coaches and trainers, can add inputs to the PE curriculum to be delivered by the DepEd teachers for the students.
In this new normal, what we need is an open mind to build on our strengths. Re-think and re-tool for the common good.