Education Secretary Leonor Briones clarified that blended learning will still be implemented when classes for School Year (SY) 2021-2022 officially start on Sept. 13.
“Gusto kong mag-clarify na ‘yung pag-approve ni President ng Sept. 13, ang in-approve niya ay for opening of classes na blended learning pa rin (I want to clarify that the President’s approval of Sept. 13 opening of classes is that it will still be under blended learning),” Briones said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Monday, July 19.
While Duterte has approved the opening of classes for the incoming school year, Briones said that DepEd cannot hold face-to-face classes without the President’s approval.
“Hindi pa siya nag-approve ng face-to-face. Ang ating hinihingi, pino-propose – na ine-endorse ng IATF, i-pilot na muna ang face-to-face (He still did not approve face-to-face [classes]. What we’re asking for, what we’re proposing – which is also endorsed by the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force], is to pilot face-to-face [classes],” Briones said.
On July 16, DepEd announced that the classes for SY 2021-2022 will start on Sept. 13 as approved by President Duterte.
“Kung mag-umpisa tayo sa Sept. 13, pag-open ng classes, di naman natin mailagay sa peligro ang mga bata dahil blended learning pa rin, di pa din natin pinapayagan ang face-to-face on Sept. 13 (If we start on Sept. 13 [for the] opening classes, we will not put the children at risk because blended learning is still there, we still don’t allow face-to-face on Sept. 13),” Briones explained.
“So I want to clarify that for Sept. 13 school opening, it’s still blended learning. What we are proposing is a pilot study of 100 schools but the decision is still with the President,” Briones said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Due to the pandemic, DepEd implemented a distance learning or blended learning approach last school year to ensure education continuity.
As a response to the challenges brought by the pandemic, DepEd crafted its Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) which outlined the policies for learning continuity for kinder, elementary, junior high school and senior high school.
Under the distance learning set-up, students learn their lessons at home through modular learning (printed and offline), online learning, television and radio-based instruction, and blended learning wherein two or more learning modalities are combined.