DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) is rolling out preparations for the school opening on August 24, as it seeks local government units to assist in distributing printed learning materials for students with no gadgets and internet access.
In an online press briefing, Education Undersecretary for curriculum and instruction Diosdado San Antonio said they are pushing for education to reach Filipino children despite the pandemic.
“This can’t be done by DepEd alone. We need to have the Bayanihan spirit,” San Antonio said. “We would seek the help of our local government officials, barangays, maybe as well as the help of parent-teacher associations and fellow teachers.”
He added that DepEd received reports that the Sangguniang Kabataan have expressed their support to help deliver the printed self-learning modules in learners’ residence.
San Antonio previously said online learning will just be an option for those who have internet access.
Citing their survey that 1/4 of Filipinos have no Internet and gadget, the DepEd has prepared various learning delivery options for schools to adopt including face-to-face classes, distance learning, blended learning, and homeschooling depending on the status of the outbreak per area.
DepEd has announced that classes for this school year will start on August 24 and enrolment in public schools will proceed on June 1 as scheduled.
Malacanang clarified an earlier statement from President Rodrigo Duterte saying that the school year will be canceled, saying the President was referring to physical classes.
Mass testing pushed
But many parents have expressed worries about sending their children back to school in the pandemic and the challenges to online schooling.
The Kabataan Party-list Southern Mindanao Region echoed these sentiments.
“These are legitimate concerns of the parents that the DepEd should be looking at. Especially with the lack of mass testing, parents are concerned with the safety of their children,” said Jayvee Cabajes, Vice President for Mindanao of the Kabataan Party-list.
Kabataan Partylist SMR pointed out the importance of mass testing to ensure the safety of Filipinos, including the youth, amid the pandemic.
Cabajes said: “Let us not put the life of the students at risk in order for their unscientific “new normal” of living to be railroaded. We call on the parents and the student to air their concerns and act as one for the mass testing in our country.”
“Mass testing will give concrete data on COVID cases in our country, thus, we can isolate and treat the patients and we can ensure the safety of our youth,” he emphasized. (davaotoday.com)