On June 8, Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced that the Department of Education (DepEd) will be complying with “the President’s directive to postpone face-to-face classes until a vaccine is available.” DepEd will be making the shift to blended learning which will rely on options such as radio, television, online and modular learning. To provide underprivileged students with tools for distance learning, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) has launched a gadget donation drive with its Angat Buhay partner organizations.
Angat Buhay is the OVP’s anti-poverty program that links communities to organizations that would like to help. In a Facebook post, Vice President Leni Robredo announced that K-12 students must be enrolled this school year to be qualified to receive a gadget or a computer from the project. She posted the guidelines of the modified enrollment process to inform interested parents.
DepEd has set the enrollment period for School Year 2020-2021 from June 1 to 30. The first two weeks are strictly for remote enrollment and “any form of physical submission of enrollment data” will be done with the help of local government units in the third week. For the registration process, parents and guardians must answer the Learner Enrollment and Survey Form (LESF) which assesses a home’s capacity for distance learning.
In her post announcing the project, VP Robredo said, “Kahit hindi bago, ang mahalaga ay gumagana pa nang maayos at may basic programs ang gadget o computer. Makatutulong lalo kung maibibigay rin ang accessories gaya ng charger na kasama nito. Ang inyong magiging ambag, ipaparating natin sa mga estudyante na walang pambili o access sa ganitong mga kagamitan, at sa mga guro na gagamit ng bagong medium upang magbahagi ng kaalaman.”
Secretary Briones has acknowledged that there is unequal and asymmetrical access to information communication technology. While she did cite a recent DepEd study stating that most public school students and teachers have gadgets at home, she said that they will be looking to make use of the mandate for radio and television to dedicate a portion of airtime for children. “Sisingilin natin ‘yan,” she said. President Rodrigo Duterte has aired his doubts regarding our country’s readiness for virtual learning. In response to this, Briones said that while our country will “never attain full readiness,” education cannot wait.
For more information on this year’s school enrollment process and other questions on blended learning, you can call or text DepEd Public Assistance Action Center on their hotline numbers (02) 8636-1663, (02) 8633-1942, 0919-456-0027, at 0995-9218461 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.