BRINGING F2F CLASSES BACK. Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte delivers her speech during the distribution of gifts and educational materials to daycare learners in Mandaluyong City on Thursday (Oct. 6, 2022). Duterte said the Department of Education's milestone for its first 100 days was bringing back face-to-face learning in schools. (PNA photo by Joseph Razon)

MANILA – Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said Thursday that learning mode options for the originally scheduled implementation of full in-person classes on November 2 are being discussed at the Cabinet level.

In an interview, Duterte said the Department of Education (DepEd) is preparing a report to be presented to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

"Sa ngayon ay meron pa pong discussions at the Cabinet level kung bibigyan pa rin ba ng options ang mga schools with regard to kung anong klaseng distance learning or mag-i-implement ba sila ng blended learning (As of now, we still have discussions at the Cabinet level if we will still give schools options regarding the kind of distance learning or if will they implement blended learning)," she said.

"Mayroon kaming report na ginagawa ngayon para sa Pangulong Marcos at makapag-desisyon siya kung ano po iyong ways forward natin with regard to the options na binibigay natin sa ating mga eskwelahan (We are finalizing a report for President Marcos, so he could decide on the ways forward regarding the options to be given to schools)."

The DepEd has earlier been firm in pushing for the full implementation of face-to-face classes on November 2, after allowing flexible learning options for the gradual transition since August 22.

However, classes in some areas previously hit by the magnitude 7 earthquake in Abra and Super Typhoon Karding returned to temporary distance learning.

Moreover, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos expressed his support for the DepEd to ensure a safe transition to full face-to-face classes.

"Kung ano pong sabihin sa amin ng DepEd ay kami ay nakikipagtulungan kami nang husto. But what is important, nung tayo'y nagkaroon ng blended, ng inano ng ating Vice President Secretary ng edukasyon, nakita natin wala halos glitches. Maganda ang pagkaka-implement ng DepEd (Whatever the instruction the DepEd will give us, we will coordinate closely with them. But what’s important, when we started blended learning as directed by Vice President - Secretary of Education, we saw that there was almost no glitch. The implementation of DepEd was good)," Abalos said.

The education chief underscored the need for in-person classes to address learning gaps incurred during distance learning at the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Duterte said the resumption of in-person classes nationwide is considered the most significant achievement of the DepEd for its first 100 days.

"Ang pinakamahalaga na masasabi ko na nagawa natin as a country is naibalik natin 'yung ating in-person classes sa ating mga eskwelahan. Napakahalaga na nabalik natin ang option na mag-conduct ng five-day in-person classes dahil nakita rin nila na mas napapadali ang pagtuturo (The most important thing that we have done as a nation is we were able to bring back the in-person classes in our schools. It is very important to have the option of five-day, in-person classes, because we see that it makes teaching easier)," she said.

Latest data from the DepEd show that about 60 percent of 47,000 public schools nationwide are conducting full in-person, five-day classes, while about 90 percent are already implementing either in-person or blended learning. (PNA)