DepEd: No physical classes until safe to do so; online, television, radio-based instruction to be used

(Eagle News) – There will be no face-to-face classes or sessions until the safety of students and teachers is assured amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education announced on Thursday night, May 28.

In a report during President Rodrigo Duterte’s public address, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that there has been confusion among the people who associate the opening of classes with physical classes.

“We are used to learners, we are used to teachers facing each other and we are used to children going to school physically,” Briones said.

For this schoolyear, learning opportunities will be provided to students through “blended and distant learning” by utilizing the internet, as well as television and radio.

“This is not a new thing, we have many universities and schools which offer distant learning in many ways. We now call it blended learning because various resources which are adjusted to the actual situation of the communities will be applied,” the secretary said.

Briones noted that online learning is currently the most popular learning platform.

“Right now we have over 7 million subscribers wherein lessons, homework, quizzes, tips to learners and to teachers are all in the DepEd Commons and are accessible even to the parents”, she noted.

The secretary also said that per DepEd’s survey, around 700,000 teachers have access to laptops or desktop computers in their homes.

For those who have no internet connection or access to interactive facilities, Briones said the DepEd is working closely with local government units for the delivery of printed materials to students’ homes.

Meanwhile, in cases where there is no connectivity, and printed materials may not be available immediately, the DepEd is looking into “classic, long time approaches” which have always been used in education, such as television and radio-based instruction.

“What we need to do is to utilize these programs to transmit the curriculum and we are working out how to do this”, Briones said.

Briones also sought President Duterte’s approval on the alternative ways of learning proposed by the department.

“I believe that all that you have said is really feasible, radio, television and all of these things. I believe you have a workable program and I support you”, the President said.

Eagle News Service