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DepEd allays fears of parents: Opening of classes may not be 'face-to-face'

DepEd allays fears of parents: Opening of classes may not be 'face-to-face'

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday reminded parents that the for the coming school year on August 24 may be done either physically or virtually, allaying the fears of parents about sending their children back to classrooms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Gusto kong ipaliwanag na paulit-ulit na namin ‘yan sinasabi na kung mag-open ang classes ng August 24, hindi ibig sabihin na face-to-face [ang klase]. Kasi may mga lugar na talagang bawal ‘yung face-to-face contact. Sa mga lugar na ito, hindi natin pinipilit yung face-to-face [learning],” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

(I want to explain again that when classes resume on August 24, it doesn’t mean that it will only be done face-to-face. There are places where face-to-face contact is still prohibited. In these places, face-to-face learning will not be forced.)

“Sinabi namin ‘yan paulit-ulit pero palaging ang impression nila (parents), lahat ng klase ay face-to-face (We have repeated that again and again but their impression is all classes will be done face-to-face),” she added.

According to Briones, the August 24 date for the resumption of classes was arrived at following an online survey that the DepEd recently conducted with over 700,000 respondents composed of teachers, parents, and students.

Briones added that DepEd also found out that 70 percent of teachers have tablets in their homes which they can use in facilitating online classes. In some areas, the figure is pegged at 90 percent, according to the education secretary.

DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan earlier said the education department is also eyeing the use of information communication technology platforms, television, and radio in delivering lessons to students during the pandemic.

“If all else is not available for those who talagang walang (really don’t have) access to communication and totally isolated, ang (the) last resort is radio,” Briones also said.

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