‘Handa na kami’: DepEd says only Duterte’s go-signal needed to pilot face-to-face classes

Published September 17, 2021, 7:21 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Amid the growing clamor for the gradual resumption of face-to-face classes, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday expressed readiness to implement the pilot of in-person classes once allowed by President Duterte.


“Mahabang panahon na ang aming nagugol at saka ang aming pag-iisip, pagri-reflect, pag-aaral dito sa pilot face-to-face, so handa na kami (We have spent a long time thinking, reflecting, studying the pilot of face-to-face, so we are ready),” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Friday, Sept. 17.

Initially, Briones said that DepEd has identified 1,900 schools which qualified for the proposed pilot testing of limited face-to-face classes. After receiving feedback from other stakeholders, this number was reduced to over 600 schools.

“Ngayon ay handa kami na mag-i-implement ng face-to-face in 100 public schools and 20 private schools (Now we are ready to implement face-to-face in 100 public schools and 20 private schools),” Briones said.

“Ang hinihintay na lamang ay ang go-signal ng Presidente pero handa ang Department of Education para sa pilot (The only thing that we’re waiting for is the go-signal of the President but the Department of Education is ready for the pilot),” she added.


Is safe and gradual reopening of PH schools possible?

Meanwhile, Briones assured that DepEd’s proposed pilot of face-to-face classes is backed by the Department of Health (DOH) – particularly by health and pediatric experts.

“Ang advice ng ating mga health experts ay mas mabuti kung sa lower grades pag-umpisahan ang face-to-face (The advice of our health experts is that it is better to start face-to-face in the lower grades),” Briones said.

Citing inputs from health experts, Briones said that children in lower grades are “resilient” and they are the ones who need face-to-face classes the most.


Why is blended learning more difficult?

“Sa growing years nila, importante na i-mold na iyong kanilang character, kanilang study habits, ang kanilang good manners and right conduct at iba pang mga pag-uugali na kailangang i-implant na sa mga bata (In their growing years, it is important to mold their character, their study habits, their good manners and right conduct and other behaviors that need to be implanted in children),” Briones added.


‘Catastrophe waiting to happen’: Group alarmed by continued school closures

Moreover, Briones stressed that DepEd’s proposal for limited face-to-face classes is not only based on the opinion of the Health department but also of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

DepEd formally opened the School Year (SY) 2021-2022 on Sept. 13 where blended/distance learning will once again be used to deliver education to over 27 million enrollees to date.


A new school year starts in millions of homes, again