DepEd to consult DOH, IATF on possible resumption of face-to-face classes

DepEd to consult DOH, IATF on possible resumption of face-to-face classes

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) will consult with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on the possible resumption of face-to-face classes amid the threat of the double-mutant COVID-19 variant first detected in India, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said Tuesday.

After the consultations, the DepEd will then submit its recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte who has the final say on whether or not physical classes will be resumed, Briones said.

“Ang DepEd, kung siya ay magbibigay ng advice sa President, ay kailangan din komunsulta sa IATF, sa DOH dahil ang expertise ng mga pag-aaral nila ay sa itong variant na ito,” she said.

(The Department of Education, if it will give recommendations to the President, needs to consult with the IATF and the Department of Health because they have the expertise in studying the new variant.)

Briones said the DepEd had planned to hold a dry run of limited face-to-face classes in certain areas earlier this year but the President

“Hindi nagbabago ang paninidigan ng DepEd. Education must continue, no one should be left behind. Binabantayan lang ang behavior ng bagong variant,” Briones said.

Briones said the education department is ready for the reopening of classes in the next school year, as the President has yet to decide on when the classes can resume

She said the DepEd is ready to resume either limited face-to-face classes or purely remote means.

Briones added that the President may order the opening of classes in August, at the latest, based on the law but he is also authorized to choose when to open classes in times of calamity or emergency but it must be upon the advice of the Education chief.

“Ang situation ngayon, ang DepEd ay handa kasi alam naman natin ang advice ng international community, ang experience ng ibang bansa, pinag-aaralan din natin kung ano ang ginagawa ng mga ibang bansa sa Southeast Asia in light of all these development. Ang Presidente ang magdedecide,” she said in a Laging Handa briefing.

The DepEd will provide three options or three dates to Duterte to choose from for the opening of the next school year, Briones said.