Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Wednesday, July 15 said classes would still open on August 24 despite the calls for its delay following the spike on the cases of coronavirus in the country.
“Hindi kami nagbabago sa aming stand, Mr President, na maximum August 24 talaga. Kasi sa batas last day of August. Last day of August ay weekend. Sa August 24 magbubukas na ang klase whatever form it is,” she told President Rodrigo Duterte during the pre-SONA forum aired late Wednesday.
In the said meeting, Briones mentioned the ‘very successful’ simulation of DepEd for distance learning in Navotas City. She also noted that a small school in Siquijor has already adjusted into a blended learning approach.
“Tapos mayroon din na maliit na eskuwelahan sa Siquijor blended din ang approach nila. Mga bata binibigyan ng reading materials. Ang munisipyo nagbigay ng pera sa kanila. Kaniya-kaniyang diskarte, kaniya-kaniyang adjust. Depende kung ano ang available na paraan,” Briones said.
She then cited various alternatives under the blended/distance learning approach.
“We can use gadgets, we can use modules, we can also use TV and radio,” she said.
Briones stated that online learning is only one of the many options available under blended or distance learning.
“We do not insist that our learners, teachers use online learning because there are other alternatives. There are many ways to learn without going online,” she noted.
Currently, the Secretary said their regional offices are busy preparing modular materials to be delivered to houses of learners wherein online, TV, and radio access are not possible.
Briones assured the public that DepEd is more than ready for its implementation in the upcoming school year, adding that both the Central, Regional, and Schools Division Offices are tirelessly working amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Based on DepEd’s enrollment data, there are 20.22 million learners registered in both public and private schools.