MANILA, (Mabuhay) — The Department of Education (DepEd) said Wednesday it was ready to start the coming school year in August, which will see a shift from traditional in-person classes to an unprecedented distance learning scheme.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the DepEd was ready to start classes based on simulations of distance learning conducted in several schools.

“Ang importante patuloy ang edukasyon. Bubuksan ang ating classes on August 24. Ang question ay handa ba ang DepEd? Ang DepEd ay handa na. Nakita namin ‘yan sa simulation. It will work,” Briones said at a forum held ahead of the President’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA).

(What’s important is for education to continue. We will open classes on August 24. The question is, is DepEd ready? DepEd is ready. We’ve seen in simulations. It will work.)

Briones cited a “successful” distance learning dry run in Navotas City.

Some private schools have also started to hold distance learning simulations while others have started implementing the delivery mode, she said.

Briones also reiterated that no one would be forced to study through online means.

“Hindi pinipilit ang mga bata na mag-online sila kung hindi talaga puwede ang online dahil maraming ibang paraan na matuturuan sila without necessarily going online,” she said.

Under distance learning, lessons will be delivered to students using online platforms, printed and digital modules, television, and radio.

In-person classes have been suspended pending the availability of a vaccine against the new coronavirus. (MNS)

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