Access to quality education remains a priority of the Philippine government. In ensuring that every Filipino child has access to education, the Department of Education is preparing measures to ensure that this fundamental right is unhampered and accessible to everyone, all while ensuring that children are provided utmost protection against the threat of COVID-19.
In today’s Beat COVID-19 Virtual Presser, Health Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire and Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio discussed the government’s plan for the continuation of classes amid the new normal.
San Antonio identified four learning delivery modalities (LDMs), or ways to teach, that educators can apply\ to ensure that quality education can still be provided across the country.
These LDMs include face-to-face interaction, distance learning, blended learning, and homeschooling. With face-to-face interactions currently limited due to physical distancing measures, distance learning is a viable option as it employs the use of online materials, printed modules, and lessons broadcast over television and radio.
According to San Antonio, educational institutions and teachers can also blend both face-to-face and distance learning depending on what will best keep students, teachers, and other personnel safe.
San Antonio explained that DepEd has aligned its Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) with the Department of Health’s (DOH) minimum health and safety guidelines for COVID-19.The four key areas include increasing physical and mental resilience of both teachers and learners, reducing transmission, reducing contact, and reducing the duration of infection along with other strategies.
San Antonio also said that the Department of Education cannot implement these measures alone, saying, “panahon na para sa bayanihan.”
“At ang mga Pilipino, pag nagtulong-tulong, walang imposible,” stressed San Antonio. “Kung ang lahat po sa atin ay magbukas ng kalooban, kaisipan, at kakayahan upang tumulong sa mga kabataan, na patuloy pa ring natututo kahit sa ibang paraan—hindi sa tradisyonal na pagpunta sa paaralan—naniniwala po ako na hindi tayo mabibigo sa hangarin ng ating mahal na Kalihimna si Secretary Lalaine Briones na ang pagkakatuto ay tuloy-tuloy kahit mayroong krisis.”
Singh-Vergeire expressed that it’s difficult to ask the public to cooperate with the current solutions across the various sectors but reiterated that the DOH recommends that classes stay suspended until a vaccine is found.
“Naiintindihan namin na malaking hamon ito sa karamihan ng mga Filipino pagka’t di lahat ay mayroong internet connection,” said Vergeire. “Ngunit dapat lagi nating priority ang kaligtasan at kalusugan ng ating mga anak bago ang kanilang edukasyon, hanggang sa magkaroon natayo ng garantiya na magkakaron na sila ng proteksiyon laban sa virus.”
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