The Remote Learning Center Education, as defined by our Executive Support Services Consultant (ESS), Mrs. Maria Mimosa Pranza, is SOT®P’s modified, alternative, and flexible system of learning in response to the “new normal” brought about by the global pandemic. It is an alternative mode of education which takes place through different communication means like online or correspondence where students do not have to be physically present in a particular location for face-to-face interaction.
THE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION MANDATE
Pandemic or no pandemic, it is our mandate to educate our children. And in unusual seasons like what we are experiencing now, we need to think of ways to ensure that there is continuity in our children’s learning. May we be reminded of this –
“Christian Education is not an alternative. It is not a luxury. It is not even just a good idea. It is the law of God. It is the law that He gave our forefathers, and it is the same law that He now give to us. It is the GREAT COMMANDMENT.”
(ACE Administration Manual, p. 11)
Though we are facing a situation we have never faced before – nor ever thought we would face – we need to fulfill our obligation of educating our children. We must be ready to explore possibilities and step out of the boat so that we can deliver “the goods” to our students.
Some schools, as reflected in a survey conducted by the ESS, transitioned into the Remote Learning Center mode when the extended Community quarantine was implemented in mid-March. This was a fast-track response to the sudden change in the way we conduct our lives as families and communities. A sharing of experiences after more than a month of implementation showed that the setup works and is very flexible in the different school, as well as family, situations.
However, we do recognize the fact that some of our schools are located in areas that have slow or no internet connection at all. Or while a school may have connection, communities, where our students live, do not have wifi capability. The truth is a school may even need to use different delivery modes.
REMOTE LEARNING CENTER MODES
SOT®P uses proven and tested modules or self-learning materials and continues to adhere to its individualized, mastery-based, and Bible-centered distinctive. And the beauty of the system is that it could be implemented through different modalities. The Learning Center procedures remain in place, the delivery is flexible.
Remote Learning Center through Technology
This is what many of our schools used. “Online” may not be the best word to describe this mode of delivery because teachers are constantly monitoring the students’ progress. Teachers spend time scoring, explaining concepts, and giving oral tests. Besides, students do not work “online” but on their PACEs. Through decades of training, we have defined education as “the communication of life from the living to the living.” Our Remote Learning Center does not take away the role of supervisors and monitors. And it actively involves parents and guardians in the process. We have different articles that provide strategies to successfully implement this method of delivery.
Remote Learning Center using the “Alternative Learning System” Mode
The DepEd Alternative Learning System Program (ALS) provides a pattern we could follow. In areas where it is possible for parents or school staff to travel, the school provides materials to students and a scheme of reporting is set so that parents and teachers can meet at least once a week for evaluation. Some DepEd officials say that how ALS is imp0lemented may be the new normal in education.
In our SOT®P system, projected weekly PACEs may be picked up by parents or delivered to homes by school staff. Weekly goals may be set for students to accomplish and parent-teacher conferences are scheduled once or twice a week for scoring and testing. PACE Tests may be provided in sealed enveloped to parents and returned sealed as well. Where parents are not allowed to leave their homes, delivery services may be tapped. In some cases, home-visit by supervisors for PTs may be possible. It is vital that students are still assigned to “Learning Centers” and supervisors are assigned to specific students.
Remote Learning Center in Correspondence Course Mode
This mode is similar to the ALS method. However, this will rely mainly in delivery services because travel is banned in the locality. It is different from homeschooling in the sense that the school manages the scoring, testing, and recording. We reiterate that Remote Learning mode is NOT homeschooling. You may check our article entitled “Remote Learning Centers and Homeschooling: The Difference” at sotplifeline.com.
Employing different modalities
It is possible that some schools may have to use different modes of delivery. This could happen since the level of community quarantine in each region, province, or city and municipality shifts from one to another (e.g. from ECQ to GCQ). This is also possible in areas where families live in different localities – with diverse quarantine implementation or varying internet connectivity.
What about in areas where “traditional face-to-face mode” is the only possibility?
Schools in a situation like this will have to wait until actual physical return to classes is allowed by the government. This should, however, be the last option. We have a curriculum that allows us to use many modalities in times of crisis.
Remote Learning Center is for implementation during “emergency” situations only. In our current situation, once the quarantine is lifted, students go back to school. While we are not going back to “business as usual” but entering a “new normal,” Remote Learning Center Education is not our new normal but our alternative mode in times of crisis when physical classes are suspended.