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IATF to tackle proposed deferment of classes in public schools

/ 10:27 AM August 14, 2020

IATF Co-chairman and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will tackle the proposal of several lawmakers to defer the scheduled opening of classes in public schools on August 24 due to health concerns.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who also serves as co-chair of the IATF, pointed out that one of the concerns that must be addressed is that some private schools have already started classes, noting that it would be “more challenging” for public school students to catch up if the opening of classes is postponed.

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“We’ll talk about it some more sa ITF meeting po natin,” Nograles said in an interview on CNN Philippines’ The Source.

“Siyempre ‘yung concern namin is some private schools have already started classes. If we delay it some more, siyemrpe ang iniiwasan natin na ang magiging dehado or magiging behind ‘yung ating mga public school students,” he added.

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Several senators and local officials are calling on DepEd to move the scheduled opening of classes to a later date.

Senator Win Gatchalian, who heads the Senate Committee on Basic Education, as well as Senators Nancy Binay and Francis Tolentino cited the risks teachers and parents have to face in delivering self-learning modules of students in pushing for the postponement of the class opening.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the government has delayed the school opening for three months and prohibited in-person classes or face-to-face learning.

Instead, public and private schools were instructed to use various alternative learning modalities such as online and blended learning as well as homeschooling.

Lessons for Kinder to Grade 12 students will also be made available on DepEd TV, DepEd Radio, and can be downloaded in DepEd Commons.

DepEd’s readiness for the opening of classes was also questioned due to issues about internet connectivity and access to other tools to be used for blended learning, which is a combination of online distance learning and in-person delivery of learning materials to the homes of the learners for the reopening of classes.

DepEd TV’s test run was also criticized for airing materials with grammatical and typographical errors.

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Education Secretary Leonor Briones, however,  said the errors did not come from DepEd’s curriculum and were only due to an encoding error.

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TAGS: COVID-19, DepEd, Education, IATF, Karlo Nograles, Malacañang, Philippines, School opening
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