Duterte backs DepEd’s school opening plan

MANILA, Philippines – Education will remain the administration’s top priority despite the current health emergency, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said, as he threw his support to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) school opening plan for this year.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government's efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease. Photo from PCOO/ Ace Morandante

“Well, eh kung wala na tayong pera, edukar na lang — ilagay na lang sa edukasyon sa mga bata. We will have to forgo many things along the way because of what happened,” President Duterte said in a televised public address on Thursday.

SEE ALSO: Duque: 'Safe' to open classes in August even without COVID-19 vaccine

“But education, I think, if it is compromised, it should be negligible so that it should go on because the future of this country depends on the — how we educate our young people nowadays.”

During a meeting with other Cabinet officials, Education Secretary Leonor Briones presented to the President learning opportunities she described as “blended and distant learning”.

SEE ALSO: DepEd releases school calendar for SY 2020-2021

The President said he agrees with DepEd’s program and vowed to support it, saying: “And if there’s anything that we can do — DILG and — or whatever, we will endeavor to help you.”

Under DepEd’s plan, face-to-face classes will be prohibited to protect the students and teachers. Printed material will be delivered to homes in coordination of the barangays. Parents can also get the materials at designated places within coordinated schedules.

Briones said they will work closely with the barangays and the local governments to implement the system.

The second approach is through online learning platform, which has gained popularity recently.

The platform, called DepEd Commons, has over 7 million subscribers, Briones said. Under the platform, lessons, homework, quizzes, and tips to learners and teachers are made available.

Another approach is the use of radio and television, especially for students who don’t have access to the Internet.

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has offered the use of its TV facilities, the DepEd secretary said, adding IBC-13 made a similar offer.

Municipalities and cities with existing radio stations also expressed their intention to help implement that they call “school on the air,” according to Briones.

In his previous address, the President said he would not allow the students to go schools unless they are vaccinated to protect them from the coronavirus.

READ: Duterte: No COVID-19 vaccine, no classes

He hopes that a vaccine against COVID-19 will be available soon so that the country could return to normalcy.

— The Summit Express

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