Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said that the schools under the Department of Education (DepED) are “ready” for the full implementation of face-to-face classes scheduled to start next month.
In an interview on the sidelines of the 48th Philippine Business Conference and Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 19, Duterte said that DepED has been preparing for the implementation of five-day in-person classes since the School Year (SY) 2022-2023 opened in August.
“Meron tayong mga (We have) public schools , they were just waiting,” Duterte said when asked about DepED’s readiness for the full implementation of face-to-face classes in public schools starting Nov. 2.
Duterte explained that many public schools were allowed to implement various learning options from August to Nov. 2. These options include five days of in-person classes, blended learning, or full distance learning.
“Lahat sila, yung ready na, nag-aantay lang ng mandatory face-to-face ay mag-shift na sila into mandatory five days of in-person classes (All of them, those who are ready, are just waiting for the mandatory face-to-face and they will now shift into mandatory five days of in-person classes),” Duterte explained.
However, she noted that some public schools may still be allowed to continue blended or distance learning. “We allow exceptions, subject to the approval of our regional directors we are working on the additional memorandum for that,” Duterte added.
While public schools are mandated to implement five days of in-person classes starting next month, Duterte confirmed that private schools have been allowed by DepED to continue with the implementation of blended learning aside from five days of in-person classes and full distance learning.
“On the side of the private sector institutions, we allowed them the options of blended learning, online classes, and five-days in-person classes so that recoup their investments from their online technologies because they bought so much online resources,” Duterte said.
Allowing them to continue with blended learning, she added, will also help “prevent the closure of small private schools.”
Duterte, however, noted that the discussion to continue with this learning delivery modality should be left to private school and their stakeholders, the parents, and learners.
Despite this, Duterte reiterated the importance of face-to-face classes in the learning and overall growth of students.
“We remind the parents, the guardians, and the learners not to miss the abundance of materials that say that five days in-person classes or in-person learning is still the best option for basic education,” Duterte added.