Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.

THE Department of Education (DepEd) has clarified blended distance learning will still be used for School Year 2021-2022, after President Rodrigo Duterte gave his approval for the opening of classes on September 13.

"Upon the approval of the President on the opening of classes on September 13, he has approved the continuous implementation of blended learning. He has not yet approved face-to-face instruction. I want to make it clear, it's still blended learning," Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.

School Year 2021-2022 will end on June 24, 2022.

Briones said by implementing blended learning, students and teachers will not be exposed to the risk of contracting Covid-19.

In preparation for the school opening, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said experiences from the past school year will help shape the delivery of education for 2021-2022.

"The lessons we have learned with blended learning in the past school year will serve as our guide to improve the delivery of education to our students. For the upcoming school year, we will continue to use the streamlined curriculum of the Most Essential Learning Competencies," he added.

Malaluan said they are also conducting focused group discussions on best practices of teachers and schools to improve the implementation of blended learning.

Briones said her department will still propose the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face learning to the President.

"In the pilot study, we are suggesting limited face-to-face classes can be done in 100 schools. Let us test if we are able to successfully implement it," the DepEd chief added.

She recalled the President initially approved holding limited face-to-face classes in January, but with the UK or Alpha variant of Covid-19, he decided not to push through with the plan.

DepEd also reported more than 300,000 teachers from 15 regions have been vaccinated against Covid-19. They continue to remind personnel to register with respective local government units to get vaccinated.