DepEd: Classes will open on August 24 ‘whatever form it is’

DepEd: Classes will open on August 24 �whatever form it is�
Undated photo shows Education Secretary Leonor Briones.
Department of Education, Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Classes in the basic education will open on August 24, the Department of Education maintained as it also recommended the possibility of conducting limited face-to-face classes in areas with low-risk of virus transmission.

“Hindi kami nagbabago sa aming stand, Mr. President na maximum August 24 talaga kasi ‘yung sa batas last day of August. Last day of August ay weekend,” Secretary Leonor Briones said in a meeting aired late Wednesday night.

(Our stand on school opening remains, Mr. President. The law provides that school opening shall start not later than the last day of August. The last day of August is a weekend.)

“So August 24 magbubukas na ng klase whatever form it is,” she added.

(So classes will open on August 24 whatever form it is.)

Classes will open next month utilizing various alternatives to traditional in-person interactions such as online classes, printed modules and instruction delivered through radio and television.

“Kanya-kanyang diskarte, kanya-kanyang adjust depende kung anong available na paraan. Pero ang bottom line, patuloy ang pag-aaral ng mga bata, at malaki ang papel ng pag-recover ng economy sa patuloy na pag-aaral ng mga bata. Iyon ang aming tingin,” Briones said.

(They can adjust accordingly depending on what means is available. But the bottomline is the learning of children must continue. The recovery of the economy plays a huge role in the continued learning of children. That’s how we see it.)

Face-to-face for low-risk areas

The education department is also looking at the possibility of allowing limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas.

“Ang hinihingi ng marami ngayon dumadami ay ‘yung tinatawag nilang limited na face-to-face,” Briones said.

(There is a growing call for limited face-to-face classes.)

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III endorsed the proposal to conduct limited in-person interactions in areas under modified general community quarantine, citing the slow case doubling time of up to 28 days in those areas.

“Kung wala silang bagong kaso for the last 28 days, sir, four weeks, okay ho ‘yun… ‘Yung health systems capacity po nung lugar na ‘yun ay mababang mababa po ‘yung ginagamit less than 30%,” Duque said.

(If they don’t have new cases for the last 28 days, four weeks, that’s okay. The health system capacity in those areas that is being utilized is low—less than 30%.)

He added that the proposal to have only 10 students in one classroom is aligned with physical distancing protocols of the national government.

“So all of this really favor their proposition,” Duque said.

Duterte earlier ordered to postpone physical classes until a vaccine for the coronavirus disease becomes available.

Some 20.2 million basic education learners have registered in public and private schools in the country. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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