President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his full support for the programs of Department of Education (DepEd) for the upcoming school opening in August 24, 2020.
In a televised briefing aired Thursday night, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that they are one with the President in not allowing face-to-face classes in crowded classrooms while there is still no vaccine for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We are here from the DepEd to assure you that we are one in your uncompromising stand on the matter of safety of our learners and our teachers,” said Briones.
“There has been confusion among our people who associate the opening of school with what we describe as face to face classes. There is no face to face classes and sessions until we are assured of the safety of our children and our teachers.”
Blended and Distance Learning
Briones said that they can provide learning opportunities to students without necessarily requiring them to go to school. This can be done through blended and distance learning modalities, she said.
For those who don’t internet connections and interactive facilities, DepEd will deliver printed materials to the homes of the students in the barangays or can be picked up by parents in designated places with the coordinating schedules. Deped will be working with the barangays and local governments for the implementation.
The second approach is the online learning platform through Deped Commons. The platform now has over 7 million subscribers wherein lessons, homework, quizzes, and tips to learners and teachers are all in the DepEd Commons. The platform is also accessible to parents who may want to check on how their children are doing.
The education department also said that based on their survey, nearly 700,000 teachers have laptops or desktops in their homes which will enable them to do their job under the blended learning modalities.
In cases where there is no connectivity and printed materials may not be available immediately, DepEd will tap the classic, longtime approach through television and radio as their mode of instructions.
Briones said that the law requires television network to allocate 15% of their airtime for programs designed for children.
“There are already existing educational programs on television stations. What we need to do is to utilize these programs to transmit our curricula,” Briones said.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and IBC-13 are volunteering their TV and radio facilities for utilization, she added.
Duterte lauded the plans of Deped for the next school year, saying that all of these programs are very feasible when the school opens in August.
“I’m impressed with the simplicity of the programs, and I believe all that you have said [are] really feasible,” Duterte said. “I believe you have a very workable program, and I support you.”
Duterte added that he is ready to ‘scrape the bottom of the barrel’ and forego many things for the education of the Filipino children.
DepEd previously announced that the enrollment period for school year 2020-2021 will be on June 1 to 30.