The Department of Education (DepEd) is also looking to beef up its blended learning initiatives with some of its partners and ensured that education projects will continue amid and beyond the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country.
DepEd, in a statement issued Thursday, April 15, emphasized that “recent developments on the public health crisis will not hamper its ongoing projects and plans to support learners and teachers in basic education.”
The agency added that it also continues to tap the help of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and other ICT companies especially in the implementation of various delivery modalities – particularly blended learning.
During the Laging Handa press briefing early this week, DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones announced that the agency will continue to implement appropriate policies and actions for the safety and welfare of its stakeholders.
Briones added concerned officials and units of DepEd are currently planning on “multiple levels” to ensure that necessary adjustments will be made depending on the developments involving the public health crisis.
“We plan for every possibility because we cannot predict what will happen, there are many variables,” she added.
To reinforce these plans, Briones said the DepEd has been conducting virtual visits and press conferences in different regions to engage and consult its students, educators, and local stakeholders.
Briones and the Central Office team have finished their virtual briefing to Region I (Ilocos Region), II (Cagayan Valley), III (Central Luzon), VII (Central Visayas), and XII (SOCCSKSARGEN) so far. DepEd-Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) is scheduled next week.
Regardless of the situation, Briones also assured that DepEd is prioritizing support for learners in remote areas to ensure their access to virtual learning and to prepare them for the eventual shift to digital education.
“We’re prioritizing those under Last Mile Schools, we started distributing gadgets already in anticipation of an eventual shift or higher level of dependency on technology,” she added.
In March, DepEd officials visited Negros Oriental to give out 3,124 digital devices donated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to student and teacher beneficiaries as part of the agency’s Last Miles Schools program.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio underscored academic ease measures to further assist learners to adjust to the distance learning setup – noting the need for teachers to be “more considerate” to their students.