Home-based learning for pre-schoolers to start Sept. 14
Gearing towards a home-based learning approach, classes under the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) programs will start on September 14, 2020, according to City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan.
Fangasan, during the regular session on July 20, relayed to the city council the plans for this year’s opening of the ECCD programs for pre-schoolers.
As classes open on September 14 for pre-schoolers, the home-based approach will be employed and normalized as an alternative mode of learning since children will no longer be allowed to be physically present for face-to-face sessions in order to ensure the safety of children amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fangasan explained parents/guardians will be briefed and oriented weekly on how they can effectively guide and mentor their children. During the weekly session, the child development teacher (CDT) or the child development worker (CDW) will explain and demonstrate the children’s activities to the parents.
The ECCD Council earlier announced through an advisory that ECCD programs will be conducted by a “self-selected group of no more than five parents in an agreed alternative venue which may be necessary.” (Advisory No. 2, Series of 2020)
The advisory underscores that the teacher/CDT/CDW will serve as a facilitator during the sessions and that the parents/guardians will serve as the primary teachers at the alternative venue.
Fangasan also explained that the teacher/CDT/CDW will conduct weekly home visitations at the designated alternative venues to assess the children’s learning progress.
Councilor Betty Tabanda raised concern on the expected difficulties some parents will experience in the new learning arrangement such as having scheduling conflicts, having little to no time to mentor their children due to work, and not being able to simultaneously mentor all their children who are under the home-based learning mode.
Fangasan admitted a strategy is yet to be planned out to address problems that may arise in the future.
The city council then requested the CSWDO to furnish the city council a copy of the final guidelines for the conduct of the alternative learning mode in ECCD programs.
Meanwhile, Fangasan disclosed there are only about 1,250 current enrollees in the city, a big drop in number compared to the previous years’ 4,000-5,000 enrolled pre-schoolers.
In the said advisory, Teresita Inciong, Chairperson and Executive Director of the ECCD Council, assured that the children’s safety will be secured.
“The ECCD Council envisions that in our new normal, all learning centers including Alternative Venues shall not only be ‘child-friendly’ but also ‘child-safe’ where all young learners aged zero to four years, teachers/CDTs/CDWs, parent-mentors, and all other members of the community shall be secured and protected from COVID-19 and all other dangers,” Inciong stated. **Jordan G. Habbiling