SAN FERNANDO CITY – With the challenges posted by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Department of Education Regional Office I (DepEd-ROI) under the leadership of Director III Tolentino G. Aquino, Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Regional Director, conducted a virtual stakeholders’ convergence via Microsoft Teams on June 10-11, 2020.

The program aimed to discuss the plans and programs of the Region in ensuring the continuous education of the children participated in by various stakeholders from the 14 Schools Division Offices in Ilocos Region.

The webinar, which gathered the Schools Division Superintendents, Assistant Schools Superintendents, Division Chiefs, Education Supervisors and Specialists, School Heads, Barangay Officials, and Division Federated Parents Teachers Association Presidents, featured topics on the challenges in education in the new normal, Basic Education’s Learning Continuity Plan for SY 2020-2021, the roles of DepEd and parents in education in the new normal, and on the establishment of school, family and community partnership.

In his sharing, Regional Director Aquino emphasized that the new normal requires the strengthened partnership between DepEd and the stakeholders to create mechanisms to address the challenges brought by the global pandemic. 

Furthermore, Director IV June Arvin C. Gudoy, Public Affairs Office, DepEd Central Office, on his part, explained the importance of knowing the psychology of crisis, the methods on how to execute communication plans and strategies, and the engagement of stakeholders for support and collaboration in these trying times.

Moreover, Chief Education Supervisor (CES) Dinah Bonao of the Human Resource Development Division (HRDD), discussed the Region 1 scenario and highlighted the results of the online survey conducted regarding the preferred learning delivery modality of learners in the region as well as the identified RO1 tools for learning delivery.

CES Arlene Niro of the Curriculum and Learning Management Division (CLMD), on the other hand, informed the participants about the Assigned Readings for the Advancement of Learners (ARAL) sa Bahay Program, a flagship program of DepEd RO1 and the presence of Curriculum Matters, the official RO1 YouTube channel for curriculum updates.

She also discussed the on-going efforts of the RO on the preparation of Alternative Delivery Materials, online storytelling sessions under the One Year One Story (OYOS) Program, and other game-based worksheets.

Likewise, Maria Teresa Bautista, Education Program Supervisor, HRDD discussed the significant roles of parents as well as shared tips in the making education happen in the new normal. 

Meanwhile, Project Development Officer IV, Darius Nieto of the Education Support and Services Division (ESSD) talked on how to engage stakeholders in the new normal to strengthen school, family, and community partnerships in ensuring continuous learning of school children. He highlighted the need for collaborative process in the creation and execution of a program, project, and activity.

One of the higlights of the webinar was a video presentation on the best practices of  Domalandan Center Integrated School, Lingayen II District on the conduct of Project E.A.R. (Enhancing the Art of teaching Reading).

In his closing message to the participants, Regional Director Aquino reiterated that the health crisis happening around the world makes it imperative more than ever for everyone to join hands with DepEd so that education will continue for every Filipino Learner.

The webinar, staged in four batches, was conducted through the collaborative efforts of the HRDD, CLMD, and ESSD.

By Juner Windel M. Valdez, EPS-HRDD