Vice president-elect Sara Duterte on Monday said she was considering the resumption of full face-to-face classes by August as she prepares to work with various education stakeholders as secretary of the Department of Education.
"We are targeting that," Duterte told reporters in an interview in Davao City when asked if she was looking at returning to full in-person classes in the next school year.
Duterte, who took her oath as vice president on Sunday, was appointed by President-elect Bongbong Marcos as the head of the education department, replacing Sec. Leonor Briones.
She said she was ready to work with different groups, including parents groups, to address their concerns about full face-to-face classes as well as other education-related issues.
"Ang success ng City Government of Davao is precisely that. We partner with the private sector, we consult the private sector, we consult the stakeholders kung ano yung mga suggestions nila na pwedeng mai-adopt ng City Government of Davao. So I will take that klase na pagta-trabaho doon sa Department of Education," she said.
One of the issues that need to be discussed, according to Duterte, is the implementation of the K-12 program in the country's education sector, particularly concerns that it should be abolished.
"That is something na kailangan pag-usapan. It cannot be decided overnight," she said.
"But initially, it is something na napag-usapan din namin ni President Marcos and he already gave instructions with regard to the review of the implementation of the K-12 program of the Department of Education," she added.
While she will not helm the Department of National Defense as she initially sought, Duterte hopes that her proposal to make the Reserve Officers' Training Corps mandatory in schools will be part of the next Congress' legislative agenda.
"Executive and legislative agenda will be decided between the President and Congress. So I hope that will be included since marami namang pending bills diyan sa Congress with regard to that, iba-iba lang ang pangalan. So sana masali siya," she said.
Duterte will hold an in-person meeting with Briones on June 25 to work on her transition as the next education chief. Prior to this meetup, she said several written communications have been made between the two of them.
The Philippines resumed limited face-to-face classes in November last year in low risk areas around the country after more than one year of remote learning.
Some 28 million students were enrolled for the current school year based on data from the DepEd.