Duterte supports DepEd's "blended and distant learning" amid COVID-19 pandemic
President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed support on the Department of Education's "blended and distant learning."
Duterte, who previously said there was no point in holding classes if there is no vaccine yet against coronavirus disease, made the statement after DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones presented her office's plan during a televised meeting on Thursday night.
"I'm impressed with the simplicity of the program. And I believe that all that you have said is really feasible. Radio if there's no television and all of these things. I believe we have a very workable program and I support you," he said.
Briones reiterated that there will be no face-to-face classes.
"Well, we are used to learners, we are used to teachers facing each other and we are used to children going to school physically. But we are saying that there will be no face-to-face classes and sessions until we are assured of the safety of our children and our teachers," she said.
She said the students need not go to school through the implementation of the blended and distant learning.
Briones said that many universities and schools in the country have been offering distance learning.
Under the blended and distant learning modalities, those areas without connections or interactive facilities, she said that printed materials would be delivered to the homes of the students through the barangays or could be picked up by parents at designated places within coordinated schedules.
"We will be working closely with the barangays and the local governments," she said.
She also cited the DepEd Commons, an online learning platform with lessons, homework, quizzes, and tips to learners and teachers, which has already over seven million subscribers.
In cases where there are no connectivity and printed materials, she said DepEd could use television- and radio-based instructions.
In a survey conducted by DepEd, Briones said out of the more than 788,000 public school teachers, 80 percent or nearly 700,000 have laptops or desktops in their homes. However, she did not mention how many of those who have computers at home have internet connectivity.
"What we are saying, Mr. President, is that we fully and completely support your stand that our children should not be exposed to the dangers of COVID-19 physically but we are also offering opportunities for them to continue their studies and their learnings," she said. Celerina Monte/DMS