The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday announced that it will submit to the President an updated report on school opening and its current initiatives to provide learning spaces in post-COVID.
Issuing a statement, DepEd said that “after consulting education stakeholders,” the agency is “set to give an updated report on the opening of classes” for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 last month.
After two school opening postponements, DepEd formally opened the current school year last Oct. 5. As mandated by President Duterte, 25 million students at the basic education level are currently under home-based learning in the absence of face-to-face classes.
Students are currently under distance learning set-up through the use of multiple learning delivery modalities such as modular (printed and offline), online, television and radio-based instruction. Some students are also under blended learning or a combination of two or more learning delivery modalities stated.
DepEd said that the updated report will also include the feedback of students and teachers on the distance learning.
Earlier, Education Secretary Leonor Briones also directed a study on re-conceptualizing learning spaces post-COVID. These learning spaces may include not just classrooms but also homes, community spaces, and the virtual space – among others.
Meanwhile, DepEd reiterated that the no in-person classes policy remains in effect at this time. It stressed that schools will only reintroduce face-to-face classes if this is already “greenlighted” by the President and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
In a recent virtual press briefing in Malacañang, Briones clarified “no face-to-face classes is still the standing policy of the government.” However, she added that DepEd is also studying the possibility of conducting limited face-to-face classes for next year.
“We are preparing a report for the President on our current experience with the opening of classes but it will be very limited to areas which are absolutely safe,” Briones said. She added that there will also be conditions from the Department of Health (DOH) and DepEd.
Briones emphasized that the clearance would come from the DOH and IATF “since these bureaus are responsible for the assessment of the health situation in areas around the Philippines.”
DepEd, Briones said, regularly provide reports on the developments in the education sector such as assistance for private schools/private school teachers, provision of supplementary learning materials to typhoon-hit provinces, and school calendar adjustments – among others.