Following President Duterte’s decision to postpone limited face-to-face classes in basic education, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday, June 23, said that it will continue to implement “enhanced blended learning” as it prepares for the opening of the upcoming school year.
In light of the emergence of contagious variants of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, DepEd said it will follow the decision of the President to postpone the implementation of limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas.
Without in-person learning, DepEd said that it will continue to implement “enhanced blended learning” as it prepares for the opening of a new school year amid the ongoing public health situation in the country.
“Our utmost priority is the safety of our 27 million learners and more than 840,000 teachers and we will defer to the professional assessment of the Department of Health (DOH), the IATF, and the wisdom of the President in ensuring their protection,” DepEd said.
DepEd has been pushing for the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes in low risk areas since last year.
It was repeatedly rejected by the President – the latest being was June 21 when he told Education Secretary Leonor Briones during a pre-recorded televised address that he was not inclined to the resumption of face-to-face classes , even on a limited basis.
Briones, who was also present virtually, readily agreed and formally withdrew the request of DepEd for the President to allow the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes especially this upcoming school year.
“Nonetheless, we will continue to prepare and improve the delivery of quality education no matter what the circumstances will be in the coming months,” DepEd said.
DepEd noted that while it remains optimistic to “open schools” when the overall situation improves, “we are ready to fulfill our constitutional mandate in supporting our learners and teachers in any form of learning available.”
The department said that it will release the final school calendar for School Year (SY) 2021-2022 “once we get the final approval” of the President.
“We are proposing that he choose among either August 23, 2021, September 6, 2021, or September 13, 2021,” DepEd said.
Meanwhile, DepEd remained hopeful that its partners and stakeholders will “come together once again in this endeavor and work with us to serve the interest of our Filipino learners.”