Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to study the proposal to conduct face-to-face classes in areas where there are no reported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Citing the difficulty in implementing distance learning for students with special needs, she said, “I hope the DepEd will study the possibility of face-to-face classes in places where there is no incidence (of COVID-19). For example, I just read, Tawi-Tawi has no incidence, Batanes has no incidence. It’s easy to contain (the virus) because these are islands. Maybe we can consider face-to-face classes there.”
The Vice President recalled her recent conversations with a group of teachers where they talked about the difficulty of conducting online classes for first-time learners or those who cannot read and write yet.
“I hope the modality that will be used by the DepEd will depend on the area; not all will have distance learning. Maybe places which have low-risk of contamination or no contamination at all might hold face-to-face (classes),” she added.
She said special education students also require the presence of professionals such as speech therapists.
Robredo also urged the DepEd to consider moving the Aug. 24 class opening to a later date when everyone is prepared for the new system of learning.
“There will be no difference whether you do it in September or October or November, as long as everyone is ready. Because the problem is if (the DepEd insists) on the Aug. 24 opening, only those who are prepared can implement (distance learning) properly while others will be left behind,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Vice President will put up Community Hubs, which will provide free access to computers and tutorials. It is part of the agency’s ongoing Bayanihan for Distance Learning project.
“The idea of the Community Hub is (that) in places where there is poor internet signal or no internet signal, students will have a place to go to in their community where they can use computers, download and print their lessons without the need to commute,” she said.
According to the Vice President, as she gave the assurance that the facility would practice physical distancing by providing students with schedules to prevent coronavirus infection, the Community Hubs will also offer students free tutorials on particular subjects.
Watch the video: