DepEd still hopeful for the resumption of limited face-to-face classes this coming SY

Published July 14, 2021, 9:18 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Recognizing the importance of face-to-face classes for stakeholders, Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Wednesday, July 14, expressed hope that the resumption of face-to-face learning this upcoming school year remains a possibility.


“All those who are interested in education know the importance and the significance of face-to-face sessions – the children need it, the teachers need it, the parents need it, the schools need it,” Briones said in a pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) virtual presser.


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However, Briones noted that the decision whether or not limited face-to-face classes – even on a limited scale – will be conducted lies on President Duterte. “I already said that it is the President’s decision on the opening of classes, etc., which will determine the degree to which we will be able to pilot the possibilities of face-to-face [classes],” she explained.

Since last year, DepEd has repeatedly proposed to the President to allow the pilot testing of limited face-to-face classes in areas with low or no cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

However, the President remained firm in his decision to keep children at home especially with the emergence of new coronavirus variants. “We also have to protect them from the dangers and the threats of COVID-19 and this is the major consideration of the President,” Briones said.

Despite this, Briones remained optimistic that the President would approve the pilot testing of limited face-to-face classes in low risk areas.


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“We are hoping and we are looking forward to the time when the environment will be more favorable, hopefully, by August if and when the President decides to open schools in August or September as he assesses the situation of our teachers and our learners,” she added.


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As the national government continues to rollout its vaccination program, Briones remained hopeful that the President Duterte will reconsider her DepEd’s recommendation for the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes.

“(Vaccine czar) Secretary (Carlito) Galvez gave us an assurance that they will try by August – perhaps at the latest – if our youth, in particular ages, and our teachers can be vaccinated, we can probably consider what we always proposed and that is to pilot face-to-face [classes],” Briones said in a mix of English and Filipino.


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