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Antique, Philippines launches online classes

The Department of Education (DepEd), a division of Antique, is preparing for alternatives mode of delivering educational services like online classes, to cope with the ‘new normal’, as the opening of traditional classes has been proposed to August 2020.

The Schools Division Superintendent, Felisa B. Beriong, during the IATF Alerto sa COVID-19 press conference, said that the education supervisors, principals, and other school officials are preparing for modules, learning sheets, and other materials needed for an alternative delivery model and online classes.

She emphasised that the preparation is still subject to the decision of the concerned government authorities, taking considerations on the safety of children while making the most of their time to learn even though staying at home.

According to a press release, for Antique, she said that based on the survey they have conducted, only a few schools are capable of holding online classes considering the essential factors such as availability of internet connection, the readiness of students, parents, and homes as an environment of learning and availability of computers or phones.

Thus, educational materials are also being readied to explore other alternative delivery modes to accommodate learners who have no access to online learning.

The Division of Antique is also enhancing the handwashing facilities in schools to ensure that these are functional when children return to school.

The water supply system remains a challenge in most schools, however, Beriong urged the schools and local officials to establish a rain catchment facility for this purpose.

To enhance the capability of teachers while physical gathering is restricted, she said that there are online seminars or webinars available for the teachers.

The division is waiting for the guidelines to repurpose the utilisation of the budget of schools to meet the current need of the teachers, students, and staff.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has also announced it would conduct online sessions aimed at preparing teachers under DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to adapt to alternative learning systems post the lockdown measures in place for COVID-19.

As OpenGov reported earlier, DICT is mobilising its various bureaus and agencies to roll out the sessions. The ICT Literacy and Competency Development Bureau (ILCDB), Cybersecurity Bureau and Regional Offices will develop the content of these online sessions as well as facilitating the conducting of the webinars.

The program will cater to teachers, administrators, educators, and students in different public and private educational institutions and state universities and colleges.

Also, updating ICT equipment and software is a vital step towards optimising available bandwidth and mitigating risks associated with the use of old or outdated ICT hardware and software.

For this month, some schools in Antique are being used as quarantine facilities of returning Antiqueños as requested by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19.

During the recent meeting of the IATF and the League of Municipal Mayors, Governor Rhodora Cadiao said that she has requested Secretary Leonor Briones for the extension of the use of schools as quarantine facilities to cater to more returning sugar migratory workers.

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