Despite the heated debate triggered by the opening of classes in August, the Department of Education (DepEd) last May 28 said that it is maintaining its position that the school opening needs to push through to ensure that the education of Filipino learners will not be further disrupted.
In an online press briefing, Briones said that the DepEd is aware of the clamor to suspend the opening of classes this coming August 24 due to the continued threat of COVID-19. “But what other options do we have? We have to go on because education must continue,” she added.
Along with her undersecretaries Annalyn Sevilla and Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan, Briones discussed concerns on school opening and the alternative learning modalities. Briones emphasized that the health and safety of learners and teachers remain to be the “utmost consideration” of DepEd.
Asked about the earlier pronouncement of President Duterte on “no vaccine, no school opening”, Briones stated that it is in line with their goal to protect the welfare of the teachers and learners.
“We don’t have confusion with President’s direction – there’s no conflict because we share the same position against face-to-face conduct of classes,” Briones clarified.
“We’re preparing for non face-to-face school opening,” Briones further explained.
“We are offering a wide array of options so that children can continue schooling while waiting for a vaccine which is still being developed in other parts of the world because we want to ensure that education will continue,” she added.
‘New normal’ requires new learning modalities
Malaluan explained that DepEd is currently preparing for the implementation of the Learning Continuity Plan (LCP). He added that the regional offices started “contextualizing the LCP” in an effort to ensure that the learning modalities that will be used will cater the needs of their learners.
The DepEd key officials also emphasized the need for teachers to be trained in line with the new modalities to be rolled out this coming school year.
“One of the intentions why we’re asking them to report back to work starting June 1 is for them to can upskill through training and capacity building programs,” she added.
Enrollment to be done remotely
Sevilla noted that DepEd will also conduct “remote enrollment” this coming June.
“What we want to do is to conduct a remote enrollment which means that the students will be contacted by the teachers or their previous advisers,” she explained.
While options are laid out by DepEd, Briones stressed that the final decision – whether to enroll the children or not – depends on the parents.
“The parents will decide whether they will keep their children for several months at home or take advantage of what the DepEd offers so the education of their children will continue,” she ended.