President Rodrigo Duterte once again reconsiders discussion on the possibility of allowing face-to-face (F2F) classes in areas with zero cases of coronavirus disease, Malacañang said on Thursday.
“I am sure the President is open to further discussion on the possibility of face-to-face pero uulitin ko po, habang may banta ang Covid sa isang lugar eh out of the question po iyan (but I repeat, while the threat of Covid-19 exists, that is out of the question),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque shared in a press briefing.
The spokesman made this comment after Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero de Vera said that they are studying the possibility of allowing limited F2F classes in Covid-19-free areas.
“We will see po what will happen in the next few months kasi Agosto pa naman po ang simula ng klase (because classes will open on August yet),” he said.
On May 25, Duterte said he had doubts about opening of F2F classes until a vaccine against Covid-19 is available to all.
“I will not allow the opening of classes na magdikit-dikit ang mga bata. Bahala na hindi makatapos (if students have to stay close to each other. Never mind if they don’t finish). For this generation wala nang matapos na doctor pati engineer (no one will finish medicine or engineering),” he said.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones vowed to comply with Duterte’s order, discussing the alternative methods the department can employ to adjust to the circumstances.
The DepEd is preparing for “blended learning” which would make use of radio, television, online and modular learning.
Colleges and universities using full online education can open anytime while those using flexible learning can open anytime in August 2020.
The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) using significant face-to-face classes can open not earlier than September 1, 2020 while no in-person classes are allowed until August 21, 2020.
Private colleges and universities are encouraged to change their academic calendar and open in August 2020.
Remote enrollment is ongoing nationwide with the aim of collecting and assessing household information of students.