Former Speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday suggested that the Department of Education (DepEd) consider resuming face-to-face classes in areas with low-risk of Covid-19 infections and limited digital capacity.
“Earlier this month, DepEd confirmed that no face-to-face classes will be held for the coming school year, with the standard curriculum converted to a distance learning program,” he said.
“This was in compliance with the directive of President Duterte to postpone the conduct of conventional classes until the public health crisis is decisively under control,” Alvarez said.
But while he said he supports the steps taken by DepEd to minimize the spread of Covid-19, “we must remember that there is also an imminent danger to the Filipino students’ education and future.”
“The online and broadcast materials proposed by DepEd may be helpful, but these are not easily available for many teachers, students, and families,” Alvarez said.
“After all, not everyone has the means to purchase a laptop, a tablet, and other digital devices. Not everyone has access to – or can afford – internet connection. As a matter of fact, there are Filipino families who do not even have radios or televisions at home. This is the reality we cannot ignore,” he said.
“Areas with no cases of Covid-19 should consider regular classes. Areas with little to no background when it comes to the digital era should learn about these modern tools, build capacities with the help and support from the government (and the private sector) and gradually – but steadily – shift to the digital age,” Alvarez said.
“In the meantime, however, necessity requires us to consider context and be open to the fact that traditional classes may be the more effective and practical option for certain areas of our country,” he said.
“A one size fits all strategy will not work,” Alvarez said.
Source: POLITIKO - The Bible of PH Politics