Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones denied Tuesday that it approved Vice President Leni Robredo’s learning hubs, saying the Office of the Vice President (OVP) coordinated the program with local government units.
The project, which involves limited “face-to-face” classes was discussed by Briones during a Palace press briefing. The OVP earlier announced that it partnered with DepEd over the community learning hubs.
“We have on record DepEd and OVP’s exchange of letters on the matter which is very clear that the Department has not given formal approval,” Briones said when asked by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on the matter.
The DepEd head also reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy against face-to-face classes during the COVID-19 pandemic still stands.
For school year 2020-2021, classes are conducted via distance learning due to the risks posed by COVID-19.
Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez meanwhile insisted that the OVP coordinated with DepEd on the project “at both the national and local levels, every step of the way.”
“Until today, national DepEd did not express any opposition to the initiative, and our Office has in fact been ready for any coordination to scale up the hubs,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
“Strict compliance with health protocols is followed in the hubs. There is also proper coordination not just with local DepEd Divisions but also local government units to ensure a safe and effective learning environment,” he added.
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