The Department of Education (DepEd) has assured all parents and other stakeholders that the safety of students is the priority when classes reopen on August 24, 2020, through DepEd’s safe back-to-school program implementation.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones also gave an assurance that there will be risk assessments to be conducted before the resumption of face-to-face classes that requires teachers and students to be physically present in a classroom that is commonly composed of more than 30 students per classroom.
However, in the guidelines for the upcoming school year 2020-2021, it is said that class sizes would have to be limited to only 15 to 20 students in compliance with the social distancing measures set by the Department of Health (DOH).
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“I acknowledge the fears and apprehensions of our learners, parents, and teachers that attending schools in August might still not be safe in light of COVID-19. We will implement a safe back-to-school program consisting of health standards that will ensure everyone’s safety in areas that will allow physical attendance in schools,” Secretary Briones said in a statement.
She also reiterated that the opening of classes on Aug. 24 would not necessarily mean a return to the physical or classroom-based education, adding that the physical opening of schools would depend on the risk-severity grading or classification of a locality, pursuant to the guidelines issued by the DOH, Office of the President or the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
DepEd also stressed the need to maintain physical distancing to minimize interaction among students in areas where schools are allowed to open.
Distance learning will be a major component of learning delivery for the incoming school year.
Schools are also authorized to decide on the specific learning delivery system to adopt, such as online education or through the use of television, radio as well as the printed or digital learning modules.
Secretary Briones also acknowledged the fears and apprehensions of learners, parents, and teachers about the readiness for distance learning, especially with issues about access to online platforms and the availability of gadgets.
“I assure everyone that we are working double-time to ready our system, at the central and field units, to deliver accessible and quality distance education,” she said.
“I seek the cooperation of all to have an open mind and to allow us the opportunity, over the next three months, to fully orient and inform everyone how this will be done. At the end of the day, after we have given our explanations, the parents will have the final decision on whether to allow their children to proceed,” added the secretary.
A survey will be conducted during the enrollment period in June to determine the accessibility of students to distance learning options, as well as potential challenges that households will face in the adjusted system.
DepEd’s safe back-to-school program implementation – Updated: May 20, 2020
Read more: DepEd News
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