I AM one of the thousands of parents who have also welcomed the new school year last Monday (September 13, 2021). Having enrolled my two kids in San Fernando Elementary School (SFES), I gradually prepared myself for the task of guiding them under the blended learning approach of the Department of Education.
Even before the start of the classes on September 13, (as it was last school year), SFES efficiently organized its Distribution and Retrieval Schedules for parents and guardians to ensure that health protocols such as social distancing will be observed. The modules and books were properly and neatly packed for pick-up and schedules and guidelines were also included in the students' materials.
Aside from the organized conduct of module distribution, teachers are very proactive in reaching out to parents through group chats. Since my older son Marco is in Grade 5 already, I want to slowly teach him to be more independent when it comes to checking the messages in their group chats since he has his own Facebook account. On the other hand, for Lance who is in Grade 2, I am more active in the group chats.
When the first day of class was held last Monday, I was indeed happy to know that Marco will be attending a class orientation via zoom because as compared to last year, students were not given a chance to be oriented (or shall I say we missed the chance to attend). This way, I know that through this virtual interaction between the class adviser and his classmates, he will be more engaged and be inspired to do his school work.
Another thing that I have noticed is that, unlike last year when all the instructions were given all at the same time per week, subject teachers now follow the class schedule and the time allotment for each subject. I don't know for the others but as for me as the one guiding them in answering the modules, this is more effective as it also relieves us from the feeling of being overloaded and pressured to finish all the activities in one week given that most of us are working 8 to 5.
I would also like to commend SFES through its very hardworking and outstanding principal, Ma’am Lorna Aquino, for introducing the hybrid approach for this school year using printed and digitized modules, TV-based instruction, video lectures and online classes. For this school year, teachers are conducting virtual classes to discuss lessons and explain to students what are the activities that need to be answered. Indeed, a big sigh of relief for us parents.
While it is too early for me to conclude after three days of classes for SY 2021-2022, I can say that not only teachers and principals have become well-adjusted to the new normal mode of teaching, but more importantly, students and parents like me have also felt more comfortable and confident about the blended learning modalities. An early sign of success once again, and we always want to ensure that education must continue in spite of the pandemic.
My warmest congratulations also goes out to the entire San Fernando Elementary School for bagging the 1st Place Award in the recently concluded Department of Education Region III Education Innovation Conference Search for Best Innovations in Education under the Content Category Elementary Level for its pioneering project called SFESial TV: Championing Education in the New Normal! My special acknowledgement to my dearest Madam Lorna Aquino, who for me is the Number 1 School Head in the world! I am indeed a proud parent of SFESians!