As part of its preparations for the opening of a new school year amid the public health situation brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) has been strengthening its efforts and initiatives to utilize technology for learning.
“We started distributing gadgets already in anticipation of an eventual shift or higher dependence on technology,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Tuesday, April 13, during the Laging Handa public briefing.
Briones reiterated that DepEd is trying to veer away from heavy dependence on printed materials because it is very expensive and harmful to the environment.
“Kahit aalis na si COVID, ayaw natin i-encourage ang napakataas na dependency natin sa printed material (Even if COVID goes away, we don’t want to encourage high dependency on printed material),” Briones said.
“Whatever happens to COVID, we are also endeavoring to lessen our dependence on printed material if we want the environment to survive, if we want the planet to survive, and if we want to limit the occurrence of flood and natural disasters,” she added.
Meanwhile, Briones said that DepEd is currently planning for the opening of the upcoming school year. “We’re having multi-level planning and we plan for all possibilities. Of course, it is very challenging, so, you have alternative one, alternative two, alternative three,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
“We’re preparing for all possibilities because we cannot predict what will really happen, there are many variables that we could not predict so our planning is based on various assumptions,” Briones added.
When it comes to the opening of coming school years, Briones noted that DepEd – along with its field officials – are bracing for various scenarios.
“We cannot plan with only one objective and we need to achieve that no matter what. If this happens then this is what we will do and if that happens, this is also what we will do,” she said.