President Bongbong Marcos wants blended learning to continue in "very specific areas" next school year as the government prepares for the resumption of full face-to-face classes by November, Malacañang said Wednesday.
During the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Marcos instructed the Department of Education headed by Vice President Sara Duterte and other agencies to come up with plans for the opening of face-to-face classes this year.
He also asked Duterte about strategies to address issues such as the availability of classrooms and teachers, among others.
“Ang gawin na lang natin [ay] i-identify saan ‘yung areas na magbe-blended learning para maka-focus tayo. Ihanda yung mga devices at mga kailangan nila na noong pandemic hindi nasu-supply- an sa mga bata,” Marcos was quoted as saying in a Malacañang statement.
“We continue with blended learning pero in very specific places lamang. As much as possible, face-to-face na talaga,” he added.
Marcos' statement came after the issue on whether DepEd should discontinue blended learning beyond Oct. 31 was raised during the meeting, considering the challenges on the return to face-to-face classes.
The DepEd has set the opening of School Year 2022-2023 on Aug. 22, with the expectation that all public and private schools will have transitioned to face-to-face learning by Nov. 2.
In a recent DepEd order, blended learning will no longer be implemented beyond Oct. 31 as the department adopted a policy on the full implementation of the five-day in-person classes.
Duterte told Marcos that DepEd will prepare a plan on what to do beyond Oct. 31 to address the president's concerns.
Aside from issues on classroom and teacher availability, other concerns that Marcos wants the government to address include the internet connectivity and the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Marcos previously asked local government heads to ramp up their COVID-19 booster shot efforts to help ensure the safe return to face-to-face classes of school children.