Distance learning until 2022? DepEd says planning 'for all possibilities'
The Department of Education said on Tuesday it was preparing "for all possibilities" after a lawmaker warned that distance learning might extend until next year.
Face-to-face classes may not be possible this year because COVID-19 shots for children below 16 might not be available until the summer of 2022, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor recently said.
"We plan for all possibilities," Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a public briefing, when asked to respond to the lawmaker.
"Iyong request ni congressman na tayo ay magplano for a prolonged blended learning, distance learning, eh talagang kasama na iyan sa pagpaplano natin," she added.
(The request of the congressman that we plan for a prolonged bended learning, distance learning, that's already part of our planning.)
President Rodrigo Duterte twice rejected a pilot test for face-to-face classes, the latest in February, because the COVID-19 vaccination drive had yet to be launched then.
Briones in February said a survey by her agency showed "more than 50 percent" of students were in favor of attending in-person classes.
A “significant portion” of teachers also want to hold limited in-person classes while parents remain undecided on the matter, she said.
The education chief said prolonged school closures have an impact on the psychosocial welfare of students.
The Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia that has yet to hold in-person classes, even on a limited scale to supplement distance-learning modalities, she added.