The Department of Education (DepEd) announced that it will only allow face-to-face classes with the permission from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
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Although the DepEd is studying the possibility of doing face-to-face classes, Sec. Leonor Magtolis-Briones explained that this will only be implemented with the permission of the president as well as the recommendation of the COVID-19 task force as well as the Department of Health (DOH).
She clarified that these recommendations are important because these government agencies are in charge of the health situation in the Philippines, particularly the COVID-19 crisis.
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“Hanggang ngayon, iyon ang policy [no face-to-face classes] ng President [at] hindi pa niya binabago,” said Sec. Briones.
“We are preparing a report for the President on our current experience with the opening of classes, at klaro naman na kung magkaroon ng face to face, it will be very limited to areas which are absolutely safe, there will be conditions from the Department of Health; there will also be conditions coming from us. Hindi po lahat-lahat, [hindi] sabay-sabay iyan na mag-face to face, kung payag si President.”
Because the different areas in the Philippines have differences in their respective COVID-19 situation, the resumption of face-to-face classes will not happen at the same time. The DepEd, IATF, DOH, and even the local government units will have to work out a plan and assess the situation before this happens.
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“At saka, depende sa approach iyan kasi iyong number of students, etc. So we are [also] now looking into that. But uulitin ko, definitely not this year at definitely walang mga arrangements right now with kung sinumang mga grupo na magpi-face to face at this time because the President has not made any pronouncement at all. Pero [patuloy kaming] magri-report kami sa kaniya,” Briones added.
Moreover, the DepEd is also planning on reconceptualizing the learning spaces in school, at home, in the community, and even online in preparation for the resumption of face-to-face classes in the post-COVID time.