The Department of Education clarified on Thursday , May 28 that there was no conflict between its plans on the start of the coming school year and President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent statement that he would disallow classes until it is safe.
“I would like to emphasize: There is no conflict, there is no disagreement, there is no debate between the pronouncement of the president and of the department because they are exactly the same,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones in an online press briefing.
Briones said the Department of Education, like Duterte, would not allow face-to-face learning in crowded classrooms when classes resume on the proposed schedule in August, while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“We will not allow face to face na physical na…nagdidikitan ang mga bata. Hindi papayagan yan din ng DepEd,” she said.
According to Briones, the DepEd will pursue the class resumption through alternative approaches like blended learning and flexible learning.
The blended or flexible learning approach, Briones added, will be consistent with President Duterte’s preference not to send children to school until it is safe to do so.
The DepEd is working on using broadcast media and the internet to deliver education to students.
The department has been crafting self-learning modules that will be printed and reproduced for those who have no gadget and access to internet.
Briones said the DepEd is working with service providers and communication experts as well as with the Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to utilize with these platforms.
The school year is scheduled to start on August 24 but teachers and students are not obligated to go to school in person since schools would implement various alternatives to in-person classes.
Briones also added that parents’ support will be very crucial in this school year.
“The role of the parents will be bigger than it used to be,” she said.
“Performance of the children will depend on the attention they will get from people at home—this is part of the ‘new normal’,” she ended.
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