‘Not even pandemic can get in the way’

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    PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday said not even the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can prevent the delivery of education and ensure that students continue to learn even while they are stuck at home.

    Duterte, in a pre-recorded message for the formal opening of school year 2020-2021, said this year is challenging due to the pandemic but it is also “momentous” as the country’s educational system proceeds forward and shifts to a blended learning scheme amidst the pandemic.

    Blended learning is composed of distance learning online classes and radio and television-based instruction combined with printed modules and books.

    “Indeed, nothing can get in the way of the instruction and formation of our learners, not even a pandemic. This time also ushers in a new era in our basic education program as we now ventured into distance and online learning — a challenging frontier not only for students and teachers but for parents and guardians as well,” the President said.

    Duterte commended the Department of Education and the other stakeholders for rising to the challenge and prayed this school year will be “marked with strong hopes and optimism that effective learning will take place even amidst the odds and challenges.

    “Together, let us work to achieve a more informed, enlightened, inspired citizenry starting with our children. I wish you all the best in your academic journey,” he said.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, in a briefing, said there 22.52 million students enrolled in public schools. Students in private schools started classes in August.

    The President, before the school opening, had repeatedly said that there would be no resumption of face-to-face classes until a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available.