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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday, May 28, said that parents don’t need to buy gadgets for their children in the conduct of classes this year because schools will be providing printed module materials for them.
During a televised press briefing, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said that the department is preparing printed materials for students who don’t have gadgets and access to the internet.
“Kahit ho walang gadget at internet, kami po ay naghahanda din ng mga printed learning modules at gagawan natin ng paraan na ihatid sa mga tahanan o kaya merong coordinated na pag-pick up nitong mga printed learning modules na ito,” Malaluan.
(Even if they don’t have gadgets and internet access, we’re preparing printed learning modules and we’ll find a way to bring them to their homes or there would be coordinated pick-up points for this printed learning modules.)
President Rodrigo Duterte himself rejected moves to reopen schools on August 24 due to the lack of COVID-19 vaccine, clashing with the DepEd’ earlier announcement that it could resume face-to-face classes in areas with relaxed quarantine protocols.
Malacañang later clarified that the President was referring to physical classes. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also clarified that opening classes would be “safe” as long as health protocols are observed.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said that distance learning is a major component of learning delivery for the incoming school year. Distance learning means lessons will be delivered outside the traditional face-to-face setup.
Parents and students have criticized the DepEd’s decision, as household expenses have risen in the aftermath of the lockdown. Some questioned the soundness of the policy because many households don’t even have access to the internet or to a computer. (READ: No student left behind? During pandemic, education ‘only for those who can afford’)
During Thursday’s virtual briefing, DepEd said that it will be conducting another round of survey starting June 1, which is also the start of the month-long public school enrollment.
Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said that DepEd is asking help from local government units to hand out surveys in their areas. – Rappler.com