Technical glitches mar launch of DepEd's school readiness program

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2020 02:34 PM | Updated as of Aug 10 2020 07:49 PM

Teachers and school employees prepare modules for elementary students as the education department transitions to blended learning for the upcoming school opening at the Geronimo Santiago Elementary School in Manila on July 21, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — Technical glitches led to a 2-hour delay in the virtual launching Monday morning of the school readiness program of the Department of Education, which is set to implement online and other distance learning modalities this coming school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The program, hosted by the department's unit in Soccsksargen region, intended to showcase the different ways distance learning would be implemented in schools across the country.

The event was supposed to start at 8:45 a.m., followed by a press conference at noon. Technical difficulties, however, led to the press conference taking place earlier.

"We've had problems with audio and communication," said Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan.

The showcase pushed through past 11 a.m., but the broadcast of the distance learning simulations also suffered technical problems.

Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said technical glitches were unavoidable even in national events.

"Pati mga glitches, power interruption, and tech difficulties, sumama sa national kick-off... In a national event as big as this, we can’t avoid to experience it," Sevilla told reporters.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones added that the glitch during the virtual launch was not reflective of the implementation of distance learning.

"If online does not work, if you have glitches in the delivery of the learning modalities, you have other alternatives," she said.

Under DepEd's distance learning plan, lessons will be delivered to students at home through modules, online classes, television, and radios. In-person classes are temporarily prohibited due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

Lawmakers and groups have questioned the DepEd's preparedness to implement distance learning on a nationwide scale, citing as reasons the lack of gadgets among teachers and students, and unreliable internet connectivity, among others.

Classes in public schools are scheduled to start on Aug. 24 while private schools are allowed to start earlier upon the approval of the DepEd's field officials.