DepEd: No forced face-to-face classes for learners

By: Darryl John Esguerra - INQUIRER.net July 21,2020 - 02:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Parents who do not want their children to attend face-to-face classes may resort to using blended learning, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Tuesday following the government’s move to allow limited classroom classes in areas deemed “low risk” for COVID-19 infections.

“‘Yung mga parents na ayaw ng face-to-face (classes), may choice naman sila sa online halimbawa. Kung hindi pwede ang online dahil hindi pwede ang connectivity nandiyan ang telebisyon, nandiyan ang radyo,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a televised Palace press briefing.

(Those parents who do not want face-to-face classes, they have a choice — online learning, for example. If online is not possible because connectivity is a problem then television is there, the radio is there.)

“At kung hindi pa rin ito pwede dahil siguro malayong malayo ang parents or ang lugar ng mga bata e ‘yung sinasabi namin na IBM, its better manual. Kaya ‘yung mga sinasabi naming modular system namin gagamitin pa rin ‘yung mga reading materials i-dedeliver sa bahay ng mga bata,” she added.

(And if this is still not possible because the parents or the location of the children may be too far away, then we will enforce what we call IBM, its better manual. It’s the modular system that we are saying. We will still use the reading materials which will be delivered to the children’s home.)

Earlier, President Duterte approved the proposal of the education sector to allow limited face-to-face classes in areas under the most lenient modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) where there is a low-risk of coronavirus transmission.

This was a stark contrast of his earlier stance when he declared that no physical classes will be made in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Briones said not all low-risk areas can resume physical classes as only those that meet requirements such as adequate facilities will be allowed.

She also said schools must strictly enforce health protocols against COVID-19 and coordinate with local government units and health officials.

DepEd had announced that the upcoming school year will start on August 24 with schools adopting various learning delivery options such as distance or online learning, and homeschooling.

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