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Philippines opens classes via distance learning

The Philippines on Monday officially opened classes in public schools through distance learning, ushering in a new era in education as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend life with over 300,000 Filipinos catching the virus.

Over 22.5 million students resumed their studies with the use of printed learning modules, online instruction, radio and television, even as some teachers, parents, students, and education  stakeholders expressed apprehension about resuming classes.

Classes in the Philippines normally open in June but the COVID-19 crisis prompted the Department of Education (DepEd) to push back the start of classes twice to Aug. 24, and again on Oct. 5, which finally pushed through.

DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said Sunday the department was ready to address challenges that would come with the new school year, and new education delivery mode.

“Pag sinabi naming handang-handa, pinaghahandaan din ang contingencies para mabigyan ng tugon ‘yong mga magiging hamon,” he told ABS-CBN”s TeleRadyo.

(When we say that we are really prepared, we are also preparing contingency measures to address the challenges that might crop up.)

“Hindi kailangan mag-invest sa gadget para tuloy-tuloy ang pag-aaral ng mga bata. Naihanda na rin ng mga paaralan ang self-learning modules,” he added.

(There is no need to invest on gadgets for the children’s continued education. Schools are ready with self-learning modules.)

The DepEd had earlier announced that public schools would continue to accept late enrollees until November.


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