Drilon: Poor students 'at a disadvantage' in virtual classes during COVID-19 crisis

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2020 07:16 PM

Drilon: Poor students 'at a disadvantage' in virtual classes during COVID-19 crisis 1
Children use a computer application to learn a module in English, March 7, 2017. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said the Department of Education's (DepEd) plan to reopen school year 2020-2021 under a "virtual classes" scheme will be disadvantageous to the poor.
While the idea is commendable, the reality remains that far-flung areas in the country do not actually have internet access, Drilon said in a statement.
"I do not see how virtual classes being proposed by the DepEd can be effectively implemented across all sectors. The poor will be at a disadvantage here," he said.

"The reality is majority of our population does not have access to internet. The internet in the country remains the most expensive yet the slowest among Asian countries," he said.

Drilon said this in the wake of President Rodrigo Duterte's statement Monday night that he would not allow physical classes unless a vaccine for the coronavirus disease is available. The pandemic had disrupted the last school year, as lockdown measures had to be enforced.

DepEd earlier said classes would resume in August under a blended learning scheme where lessons can be delivered through online, television, radio or face-to-face methods to limit the possible exposure of students to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

DepEd officials also said that the government expects to have around 1.3 million tablets and computers this year to help public schools shift to the new normal during the coronavirus crisis.