No COVID-19 Vaccine, No Face-to-Face Classes

Face-to-face classes will not be allowed until a vaccine against COVID-19 is available in the Philippines, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on June 8. 

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said “We will comply with the President’s directive to postpone face-to-face-classes until a vaccine is available.”

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte said in his June 5 address that holding physical classes should not be allowed until a vaccine for COVID-19 was found and made available to Filipinos.

Duterte also had doubts on whether the country could handle distance and vritual learning. However, he did say he was ready to support DepEd’s efforts to teach during amid the pandemic.

“Indeed, it is a challenging task for us at the Department of Education to prepare our schools in a different set-up but we are committed to our duty to make education available and thriving, even in the most difficult time,” Briones said.

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As traditional learning cannot happen amid COVID-19, DepEd looks turns to blended learning, which involves lessons via online portals, radio and television, and printed or digital learning materials.

 Aside from the new tools and new media, teachers are learning how to teach using the new platforms.

According to Briones, they have also tapped key people in the education sector and are looking to partner with the private sector to develop and distribute learning resources. 

Earlier, DepEd urged government officials to prioritize the internet subscriptions of teachers, related agencies, and departments to ensure that students’ learning can maintain its quality during the health crisis. The department also called for a higher budget in order to cope with the changes brought about by COVID-19.

School Year 2020 – 2021 will open on August 24.

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