The Department of Education (DepEd) rejected Monday recommendations to implement a “pass or fail” evaluation system for students as the Philippine education system transitions to distance learning for the upcoming school year.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones questioned the impact of such a grading system to students who perform well in their academics.
“What would be the effect on the drive and the push for excellence on these? And what will be the effect overall?” she told an online press briefing.
“So isipin natin ‘yan (So let us think of such implications), because even as we want to make everything comfortable, safe, and loving for learners and teachers, we also want them to achieve the learning objectives which we have set for ourselves especially the expectation for better performance, not only for national assessments but international assessments,” she added.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines earlier said that a “pass or fail” grading system would be a more “humane” evaluation mechanism given the sudden shift to distance learning, and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis that has disrupted the way of life.
“This, to us, is more in keeping with education’s objective of arming our youth amid the crises, instead of alienating them from their surroundings and adding unnecessary pressure onto their lives,” ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said in a statement.
READ: DepEd urged to implement ‘pass or fail’ system for student evaluation
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I agree with Secretary Briones. Each teacher can apply more charity over justice in assessment with due consideration to the individual situation of the students. Online distance learning is learning-centered; i.e., our concern is that students advance in competencies. This is the teachers’ challenge. Grades measure the level of learning students achieve. Give merit where it is due which motivates students to always improve to go higher, farther, deeper and better. Let us uphold the standards of excellence and not of mediocrity.