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Students, teachers to undergo psychosocial counseling during first week of school

Students and teachers will be undergoing psychosocial counseling during the first week of the resumption of classes to help them cope with the "new normal" environment in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said Thursday.

During a joint virtual meeting of the House Committees on Basic Education and Culture and on Higher and Technical Education, Briones said the psychosocial counseling is part of the Department of Education's learning continuity program amid the COVID-19 crisis.

"Our children have to be prepared for the new kind of learning approaches that we are adopting, including the teachers," she said.

According to Briones, psychosocial issues that may have been triggered by the COVID-19 crisis do not seem to be noticed presently, since many are focused on the economic and health aspects of the situation.

"For example, absolute isolation, the fear of not knowing whether you will get it or not, of exposing your child and sending your child to school, [these] might be dangerous," she said.

Regional directors of the DepEd have already undergone psychosocial counseling, Briones said.

As part of the adjustments the DepEd has made following the pandemic, Briones said, they have also reduced the learning competencies that students have to master.

Several delivery learning modalities are also being practiced by the DepEd to allow students to learn even outside the classroom.

These include distance learning that covers modular and online distance learning as well as TV or radio-based instruction, blended learning which is a combination of face-to-face and distance learning, and homeschooling. — BM, GMA News