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Duterte vows to scrape bottom of barrel for DepEd's alternative systems amid COVID-19 crisis

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday vowed support and funds for the Department of Education (DepEd) as it pursues alternatibe learning methods to reach learners amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones told Duterte that DepEd will use online learning platforms, printed modules, and radio and television programs to educate students in place of face-to-face classes.

“I’m impressed with the simplicity of the program and I believe that all that you have said is really feasible: radio, television and all of these things. I believe we have a very workable program and I support you,” Duterte said.

“Should you require any help from any of the departments, feel free to communicate with them. If it’s a question of funding, I’ll scrape the bottom of the barrel. Kung wala na tayong pera, ilagay natin sa edukasyon sa mga bata,” he added.

Duterte on Tuesday said he would not entertain talks about the opening of classes for the upcoming school year until a vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 has been discovered. 

Malacañang later clarified that the President was only referring to face-to-face classes and announced that enrollment for public schools will proceed on June 1.

Briones likewise stressed that DepEd would not allow face-to-face classes amid the pandemic. 

DepEd also said it had been crafting self-learning modules in preparation for the opening of classes on August 24. 

Meanwhile, Duterte urged DepEd to allow staggered tuition fee payments.

“For those who have really nothing to come up to sa bayaran, you have the Land Bank… Bubuksan namin and you can borrow money to finance the education of your children,” he said. -NB, GMA News