MANILA — Cabinet members are discussing if elementary and secondary schools will still be allowed to implement blended or distance learning beyond November 2, when all schools are required to resume full in-person classes, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said Thursday.
"Sa ngayon ay mayroon pa pong discussions at the Cabinet level kung bibigyan pa rin ba ng options ang mga schools with regard to kung anong klaseng distance learning or mag-i-implement ba sila ng blended learning," Duterte said on the sidelines of a gift-giving event for day care children in Mandaluyong City.
(For now, there are discussions at the Cabinet level, if we are going to give schools the option to implement a certain mode of distance learning or blended learning.)
"So mayroon kaming report na ginagawa ngayon para sa Pangulong [Ferdinand] Marcos [Jr.] at makapagdesisyon siya kung ano po iyong ways forward natin with regard to the options na binibigay natin sa ating mga eskwelahan," she added.
(We're drafting a report right now for President Marcos so he can decide how how we will move forward with the regard to the options that we are giving our schools.)
The DepEd ordered schools to return to in-person classes at full capacity beginning November 2 but Marcos suggested that blended learning continue in "very specific areas."
Duterte also addressed concerns on COVID-19 cases in some schools, saying infections were being reported in other establishments that have reopened and not just in educational institutions.
She said DepEd was focused on preventing a surge through vaccination.
"Ang mahalaga lang sa pandemic is that we are sure that iyong bakuna ay available para sa ating mga citizens. And pangalawa, iyong gamot na Molnupiravir at Paxlovid ay available para sa mga nagkakasakit ng COVID na qualified sa mga gamot na ito," Duterte said.
(What's important in a pandemic is that we are sure that the vaccine is available for our citizens. Second, medicines like Molnupiravir and Paxlovid are available for qualified COVID patients.)
"Pangatlo, iyong ating critical care capacities ng ating mga hospitals ay hindi nao-overwhelm," she added.
(Third, it's important that our critical care capacities of our hospitals are not overwhelmed.)
Duterte stressed that resuming 5 days of in-person classes was an important measure that the Marcos administration took in its first 100 days.
"Mayroon tayong mga schools right now na ganoon nga iyong ginagawa nila dahil nakita rin nila na mas napapadali ang pagtuturo kapag 5-day in-person classes," she said.
(We have schools right now which are already doing that because they saw it was easier to teach when you have 5 days of in-person classes.)
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos said his agency was coordinating with the Department of Health to boost vaccination rates in schools and secure surroundings from crime.
Also on Thursday morning, hundreds of day care students from Mandaluyong received education kits through a collaboration between the Office of the Vice President and the Embassy of Qatar.
FROM THE ARCHIVES