'I don't know if we're ready,' Duterte says on PH shift to blended learning

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 05 2020 02:22 PM

Volunteers continue cleaning up and refurbishing a school in Rodriguez, Rizal, east of Manila, May 24, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday expressed doubts on the country's readiness to shift to blended learning as the COVID-19 crisis upends the education system.

Duterte insisted anew that the country should wait for a COVID-19 vaccine as the Department of Education prepares to start a new academic year on Aug. 24.

"We have to wait for the vaccine...Sabi ko sa inyo walang vaccine, walang eskwela," he said in a public address.

(I told you, no vaccine, no classes.)

Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said DepEd will implement alternative ways of learning, such as lessons given online, and through television and radio.

Parents and students can also have printed modules delivered or picked up at select places, she said.

While the President said the education chief has "very good" alternative modes of education delivery, he expressed doubts if this could cover all students in the country.

"The technology is good. I do not know if we are ready for that. Meaning to say, if we have enough of those na gamitin para sa (to be used for) the whole of the Philippines," he said.

"We are talking of students here, it’s millions. Mayroon ba siya (Does she have that)? But if she has or if we can afford it, we’ll buy it and she can proceed with the --- her novel idea of how she --- the children can continue with their education," he added.

Briones earlier said the DepEd and the President were aligned as far as school opening amid the pandemic is concerned. 

Remote enrollment is currently ongoing for the whole month of June for the Aug. 24 start of classes.