No face-to-face classes until anti-Covid vaccine becomes available

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FACE-TO-FACE classes will not happen until a vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) becomes available, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Monday, June 8.

In a statement, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said the department will heed President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to not allow students to physically go back to school until a vaccine is available.

Briones said the agency is preparing for a new learning setup.

"We will comply with the President’s directive to postpone face-to-face classes until a vaccine is available,” Briones said in the statement.

“We assure our parents, learners, stakeholders, and the President that we are preparing ourselves for this mission,” she added.

According to Briones, the new system of education will not be an easy task for the agency.

“We are updating our policies, realigning our finances, and collaborating with our partners so that our goals of providing quality education and protecting the safety and health of our constituents will be achieved,” she said.

DepEd is preparing to implement a blended learning program that will involve the radio, television, online and modules.

The agency is now conducting remote enrollment nationwide, where students can enroll through an online platform.

“Currently, we are continuing to conduct remote enrollment nationwide in order to assess learners’ household information, which will be crucial in the preparation and the contextualization of the learning delivery mode in each locality,” Briones said.

For the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), the government must provide the necessary materials for online learning if it wants to push its learning continuity plan amid the pandemic.

“The student’s lack of access to computers and internet is the most serious roadblock to distance learning amid the pandemic. Even teachers themselves do not know how their own children can cope with distance education when they have to use their laptops for teaching,” the group said.

“You can only imagine the problem faced by families with two or more children who are studying,” they added. (SunStar Philippines)


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