The Department of Education (DepEd) will not adopt the pass or drop grading system even as Congress has shown its full support toward a push for academic ease and leniency amid the new normal where face-to-face classes are prohibited and distance learning is continually challenged by poor internet connectivity.
DepEd Assistant Secretary for curriculum and instruction Alma Torio said the DepEd aims to continue the regular grading system and will just conduct remedial classes to address poor proficiencies among students.
At a recent hearing of the House of Representatives committee on basic education and culture, Torio said they were considering the problem of poor grades among students, which had already raised the need for remedial classes.
“The recommendation of the (DepEd executive committee) as well as the (DepEd management committee) is not to adopt the pass or drop grading system for our learners. Our first consideration is if there are learners who are at risk of failing, which entails having remediation measures in place,” she said in English and Filipino.
“If we see that a learner is at risk, we need to create measures to help them and be really able to say that no one will be left behind,” she added.
Meanwhile, Education Secretary Leonor Briones emphasized that the DepEd continues to prioritize the safety and welfare of its stakeholders while it implements the academic ease measures.
“The welfare of our teachers and learners remains to be our priority, and we will ensure that school year 2020-2021 will be bearable for all while still promoting effective learning engagement,” Briones said.
The DepEd had gotten the support of the House committee on basic education and culture in implementing academic ease measures to lessen the mental stress of K-12 learners.
Last Thursday, the committee approved House Bill 7961 to protect the mental health of K-12 learners through scholastic leniency while it amended House Resolution 1383, which urged the DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to adopt a pass or drop grading system.
“The provisions of HB 7961 and HR 1383 support the fundamental principles of our BE-LCP, specifically on protecting the health, safety and well-being of learners, teachers and personnel,” Torio told the panel, referring to the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan.
“Consistent with our BE-LCP, the secretary had issued policies in relation to the implementation of multiple learning delivery modalities and the interim policy guidelines on grading and assessing our learners. The provisions in HB 7961 had already been integrated in our past and current issuances,” she added.
The recommendation to not adopt the pass or drop grading system was supported by House committee on basic education and culture chairman Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo and members – Reps. France Castro (Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list), Sarah Elago (Kabataan party-list), Mark Go (Baguio City) and Gabriel Bordado Jr. (Camarines Sur 3rd District) – as well as representatives from the private education sector.
The House committee on basic education and culture will amend HB 7961 and HR 1383 into a house resolution adopting and passing scholastic leniency and academic ease for the DepEd, CHED and other educational institutions while leaving the authority for grading system to them.