No face-to-face classes until Covid-19 vaccine is available – Department of Education

Students will remain at home indefinitely after the Department of Education (DepEd) announced its compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to suspend face-to-face classes until a vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is available.

In a statement, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones thanked Duterte for supporting DepEd’s endeavour to offer alternative learning methods in light of the public health situation caused by the disease.

While preparing schools for “a different setup” is a challenge, she said DepEd is readying the resumption of school operations based on their Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) which would affect almost the entire education infrastructure in the country – from the DepEd Central Office down to the school level.

“We are updating our policies, realigning our finances, and collaborating with our partners so that our goals of providing quality education and protecting the safety and health of our constituents will be achieved,” Briones said.

Remote enrollment is ongoing nationwide with the aim of collecting and assessing household information of students.

The enrollment will be crucial in preparing and tailor-fitting the learning delivery method in different localities, Briones said.

Meanwhile, the groundwork for “blended learning” is underway, which would make use of radio, television, online, and modular learning – currently being prepared and updated by the DepEd this year.

“At the same time, teachers are being trained on utilizing newer platforms and innovative tools to aid their professional development,” Briones said.

To ensure the effectiveness of these alternative learning methods, she said the DepEd is working with the private sector and education experts to make the necessary steps “logically sound, especially on the development, acquisition and deployment of learning resources.”

For the duration of its implementation of the BE-LCP, she said the DepEd would provide regular assessment reports to the public which it previously committed to the House of Representatives.

Last week, the DepEd announced that a total of 5,204,949 students have enrolled in both public and private schools nationwide during the first week of its remote enrollment system.

The enrollment, which is for the school year 2020-2021, is done through the phone or through online platforms and will last until June 30.

Philippines News Agency