Talomo District and Covid-19
An overview of the COVID-19 situation in Davao City
As of August 6, 2020, based on the Regional COVID Bulletin Davao City has recorded 525 active cases, 868 recoveries, 51 deaths a total of 1445 cases. It is positive that there are a greater number of people who have recovered compared the remaining active cases. However, the City does not stop reminding the public that health protocols should be observed to reduce the number of COVID victims.
One of the safety measures implemented in the City from April to August is the use of food and medicine pass (FM Pass) with serial numbers issued in every barangay. Each family has its own FM pass and only those who are 21 years old to 59 years old can go out to buy food and medicine. There was also a curfew from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM. During Sunday nobody can go out except for front liners. On Sunday establishments are closed including markets. Liquor ban is also observed. There were also barangays which were put in hard lockdown to avoid the spread of infection. Barangays were also classified to high risk, moderate and low risk areas to inform people not to visit those identified barangays unless necessary. Mandatory use of face mask is observed, and the City has established a local law that those who are caught not wearing face mask will be fined PhP500 for the first time to PhP1500 depending on the number of violations.
Transportation is limited and strict health protocols must be observed. Buses were deployed and Public Transport vehicles like jeepney should only cater for half their normal capacity. Motorcycle riders are advised to put up a protection barrier and only one back ride is allowed.
There were several isolation centers that were prepared to cater people with immediate contact to those infected by COVID 19. They are all isolated/quarantined for 14 days. International and locally stranded individuals must undergo rapid and swab tests and quarantined for 14 days before they can go home to their families.
Mayor Sara Duterte also donated her one-year salary for the front liners of Davao City who have been infected by the virus and for the families of those who have succumbed to the virus. Other individuals are also sharing their resources to support the poor communities and affected workers by giving them a ration of food packs, groceries, and health kits. Both the City and the Church campaign for support either material or financial, for families of the victims of COVID 19.
Starting in the second week of August, the use of face mask and face shield will be mandatory for commuters using public transport. Social distancing still strictly observed, no huge gathering or holding of big events. Number of people to attend a meeting/event is no more than 50 percent of normal capacity of the venue.
This time it is more open since FM pass is no longer applicable and there is no more curfew hour but still children below 21 years old are still not allowed to go out unless with an adult or for emergency reasons.
How has COVID directly affected the Talomo schools?
Due to the CoViD- 19 Pandemic, schools had to close indefinitely during the 2nd week of March 2020. Graduation exercises were done through virtual ceremonies.
Effective June 1, 2020 School Faculty and staff were required to report to school 2-3 times a week and the remainder of the days to work from home. For this school year 2020-2021, the schedule of the Opening of classes is October 5, 2020 and with a close on April 30, 2021. This School Year face-to-face learning delivery is not allowed at this stage so there is a change to distance learning until such time as a vaccine is available. Based on the result of the online and remote enrolment conducted from June 1 to July 31, 2020, most parents across the 15 Talomo schools have opted for hard copy modular instruction for their children where others have chosen online/blended learning. Students are expected to have individual copies of a module per learning area either as hard copy or online.
The most pressing problems that the School Heads are facing are as follows:
The development and reproduction of learning modules for 20,000 students. For the first two weeks the cost will be shouldered by the School MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses). Reproduction of Materials for the next third week onwards will be shouldered by the Division Office and the succeeding weeks will be shouldered by the Local Government Units. The City Government will also donate pocket wifi to individual teachers.
Creation of the Talomo District Learning Management System (LMS) which is designed for learners who chose Online Distance Learning (ODL). In Talomo District there are less than 10% enrolled in ODL. The LMS would allow all lessons per grade level/per section/teacher to be viewed and reviewed online by the learners and teachers. The issue is that the cost of setting up a Talomo system would be in the vicinity of Php100,000.
Printing of levelled reading materials for the learners. The schools only printed levelled reading materials for the non-readers and frustration readers last June for the Eight Week Reading Remediation Program. As of this time, the printing of additional reading materials for Instructional Readers is put on hold to give way to the printing of Learning Modules.
What strategies are being implemented in Talomo schools to support the learning of pupils?
The Talomo team have created a District/School Basic-Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) which is contextualized to the District/School needs. The BE-LC spells out all the information that the School Heads, Teachers, Learners, Parents, Stakeholders including the responsibilities of everyone involved. All Schools conducted Orientation and dry-run in both Printed Modular Distance Learning and Online Distance Learning starting August 4-10, 2020.
They have conceptualised the Talomo District Learning Management System for online learning, produced additional materials in the form of video recorded demonstration lessons and provided printed reading materials to learners especially those who were diagnosed as frustration level and non-readers.
The preparations have also included consolidating the learners’ enrolment data, conducting an inventory of teachers’ IT devices and internet connectivity as a basis for Distance Online Learning, and utilising a variety of different communication platforms for meetings and workshops.