The year 2020 has been one dizzying, pain-in-the-neck, and bumpy motorcycle ride for us educators as well as our students, parents, and bosses. It is obviously the sudden curbs, twists, and turns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that have caused the Department of Education (DepEd), together with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and other governmental bodies, to suddenly pivot and take drastic (yet sometimes effective) measures to ensure that all learners are still in school.
Left with no choice but to face the colossal Goliath that is COVID-19, our government earnestly began to implement measures to keep all of us safe from the energy-vacuuming, soul-robbing virus. Until as of this writing (New Year’s Eve), the COVID-19 virus has not yet totally left us in peace, just like rust clinging to aluminum and steel. Even if there are some sectors that accuse our government of merely hemming and hawing, daydreaming, and dilly-dallying, we cannot totally fault our government because it has exerted much effort in arresting the pernicious effects of the pandemic, even to the point of exhausting the national coffers just to keep our dear Philippines afloat.
Before we become hell-bent on clamoring and working for educational reforms, we must learn how to take a glance at the past before taking our chances. To give us a glimpse of what has happened in the Philippine educational landscape this 2020, let us all train our eyes on some headlines that have mirrored the state of education:
- DepEd allows class suspensions due to novel coronavirus; guidelines out (INQUIRER.net, February 12, 2020)
- Class suspensions, work-from-home sought amid local coronavirus cases (CNN Philippines, March 07, 2020)
- DepEd’s Briones tests positive for COVID-19 (INQUIRER.net, April 09, 2020)
- CHED: No more face-to-face classes for colleges, universities using new school calendar as COVID-19 crisis continues (CNN Philippines, April 21, 2020)
- CHED pushes ‘rolling’ school opening (The Manila Times, May 05, 2020)
- CHED: Classes should all start in August amid COVID-19 crisis (GMA News Online, May 11, 2020)
- DepEd remote enrollment to start June 1 (Manila Bulletin, May 31, 2020)
- CHED orders review of fees due to shift to flexible learning (Manila Bulletin, June 01, 2020)
- DepEd: Most students prefer ‘modular’ learning over online (Manila Bulletin, July 03, 2020)
- DepEd moves opening of classes to October 5 (UNTV News, August 14, 2020)
- Ched says no budget for Tulong Dunong program in 2020 (INQUIRER.net, September 10, 2020)
- Go to CHEd, SUCs: Keep students safe (The Manila Times, September 23, 2020)
- Pagtutuwid ng mga mali sa self-learning modules pinalalakas ng DepEd (Remate, October 27, 2020)
- Mga sasakyan ng DepEd, binili bago ang pandemya – Malakanyang (Remate, October 27, 2020)
- DepEd welcomes high approval ratings (The Manila Times, November 06, 2020)
- DepEd says processing funds for repair of typhoon-hit schools (ABS-CBN News, November 09, 2020)
- DepEd probes proctor who body-shamed actors, stereotyped farmers (Daily Tribune, November 20, 2020)
- Community learning hub ni Robredo binasura ng DepEd (Remate, November 25, 2020)
- DOJ to assist DepEd in false claims on modules (Daily Tribune, November 28, 2020)
- DepEd eyes limited face-to-face classes (The Philippine Star, November 28, 2020)
- DepEd defends teachers amid poor showing in int’l education assessments (INQUIRER.net, December 10, 2020)
- DepEd exec tests positive for COVID-19 (INQUIRER.net, December 11, 2020)
- DepEd: Over 1,000 schools considered for face-to-face class dry run; some regions reluctant (CNN Philippines, December 16, 2020)
- Groups push for provision of health insurance for students under DepEd’s limited face-to-face classes (Manila Bulletin, December 22, 2020)
- DepEd turns over 186 schools to BARMM (Manila Bulletin, December 29, 2020)
- Students’ participation in online classes dwindling, teachers say; DepEd validating (GMA News Online, December 30, 2020)
- Yearender: CHED leads higher education amid COVID pandemic (Manila Bulletin, December 30, 2020)
- DepEd suspends pilot face-to-face classes amid new virus strain (The Manila Times, December 31, 2020)
- Pagtaas ng teaching allowance sa P5K, ikinatuwa ng DepEd (Remate, December 31, 2020)
- Briones thanks teachers, parents, DepEd stakeholders (Manila Bulletin, December 31, 2020)
There are still so many issues that have hounded our educational landscape, but I have not decided to include these due to space constraints. The deleterious effects of indecision on the part of our educational decision makers and bigwigs are truly palpable and bring about a domino effect, which has always been the case since civilization began. On a more positive note, though, there are many educational reformists who are willing to stake their lives and sacrifice their names just to right wrongs. I happen to be one of these, through my column (which is, thankfully, celebrating its sixth month)!
Owing to its vast and virulent effects on our economy, health, and education, the COVID-19 pandemic has surely left very indelible marks and non-retractable memories among us citizens of the world, whoever we are and whatever we do in life. Our educators’ dedication to molding our youth cannot be gainsaid because we educators are front liners, regardless of the mode of teaching we do and the paperwork that inundate us (sometimes to the point of drowning).
Thank you, my dear readers, and I love you all!
Goodbye, 2020! Let us all soldier on to 2021 as one!#
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