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Briones counters claims Philippines not ready for blended learning

Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Monday rejected claims that the Philippines is not ready for alternative modes of learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a televised briefing, Briones said blended learning has been offered in schools for decades already.

“We have been doing distance learning, blended learning for decades and decades,” she said. “We have a university, in the University of the Philippines which does and which specializes in distance education for the longest time. And those who take up education and study education are already exposed to this.”

She also said the DepEd found out that 87% of teachers have laptops or desktop computers.

Briones was responding to the recent statement of Vice President Leni Robredo, who expressed doubts on the readiness of the Department of Education (DepEd) to implement online learning due to issues on internet access.

Briones also said President Rodrigo Duterte did not say that the DepEd was not prepared for online learning.

“Ang sabi niya, I do not know if you are ready for that, that’s different from saying that DepEd is not ready for that,” Briones said.

“We have nearly three months and we have been preparing from the time na nag-community lockdown, we already saw the direction of policy kaya we have been preparing since March, April, May, June for the eventuality of having to develop alternatives.”

The DepEd will also tap radio and television networks to ensure delivery of lessons.

Complying with Duterte’s directive, Briones maintained that face-to-face classes would not be held until a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

The opening of classes is on August 24. — BM, GMA News