February 03, 2021 – The House Committee on Basic Education and Culture has expressed its support to the Department of Education (DepEd) in implementing academic ease measures to lessen the mental stress of Kinder to Grade 12 learners.

On Thursday, the House Committee approved House Bill (HB) 7961 to protect the mental health of K to 12 learners through scholastic leniency while amended House Resolution (HR) 1383 urging 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.  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,” Assistant Secretary for Curriculum and Instruction Alma Torio said in the panel.

However, DepEd will not adopt the pass or drop grading system as the Department sees that remedial classes are the solution for learners who are at risk of failing.

“The recommendation of the ExeCom as well as the ManCom is not to adopt the pass or drop grading system for our learners. Kasi ang unang konsiderasyon namin ay kung mayroon na pong mga learners na at risk of failing talagang kailangan pong mayroon tayong remediation measures,” she said.

“Kapag nakita na po natin na at risk yung mga bata kailangan gumawa na po tayo ng measures para matulungan sila para po talaga masabi po natin na no one will be left behind,” added ASec. Torio.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones noted that the Department’s priority is the safety and welfare of its stakeholders and the Department will continuously implement 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,” Secretary Briones said.

The recommendation  not to adopt the pass or drop grading system was supported by House Committee Chairman Roman Romulo, and members Rep. France Castro, Rep. Sarah Elago, Rep. Mark Go, Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr., as well as representatives from the private education sector.

The House Committee on Basic Education and Culture will amend the HB 7961 and HR 1383 into a house resolution adopting and passing scholastic leniency and academic ease for DepEd, CHEd, and other educational institutions while leaving the authority for grading system to them.