October 30, 2020 – Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones on Thursday discussed the importance of the Department’s approach in learning continuity during the 2020 Global Education Meeting Extraordinary Session on Education Post-COVID-19.

During her virtual speech in the high-level international gathering, Secretary Briones emphasized DepEd’s two-pronged approach to ensure that education will not be defunded during the adjustment and recovery period.

“In the Philippines, our approach has been two-pronged: Emphasize that learning delivery in a safe manner is possible; and show that safe learning continuity in the time of COVID-19 constitutes necessary and sound investment for education transformation for the future,” Sec. Briones said in answering “How is your country recommitting to education?”

Briones noted that the challenge for the education sector is to defend learning continuity since there are sections of society that are predisposed to taking a position that “education can wait.”

With DepED placed under very challenging circumstances to adjust its operations due to the pandemic, the Secretary cited the support of various government and private partners at the national and local level to safely open School Year 2020-2021.

“The resumption of learning for our children at this time is no small feat. It is certainly not easy to reconfigure learning delivery from one based in physical classrooms, to one with a degree of distance learning under various modalities at a scale never done before,” Sec. Briones said.

The Education chief also stressed that learning continuity establishes significant investment for the future, pointing out three innovations that the Department is pursuing namely: (1) Technologies for remote learning; (2) Reframing the curriculum; and (3) ‘Smartifying’ learning spaces and resources.

Briones explained that reframing the curriculum is necessary to prioritize essential/cross-cutting knowledge, skills, and mindsets, including 21st Century Skills, durable skills, and capacities that can help confront the future.

She also suggested that it is timely to expand learning environments and resources in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the emergence of virtual and informal spaces.

“Yes, there will be equity and quality losses, but there are also evident equity and quality gains. The result will not be one-sided, and our challenge is to swing it to the side of the gains,” she concluded.