DepEd face-to-face classes plan called an experiment

Published July 24, 2020, 4:51 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Makabayan bloc member ACT-Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro has the described the plan of the Department of Education (DepEd) to allow face-to-face classes next year in COVID-19 low risk areas as an experiment.

“Ang tanong ko lang, nag-eexperimento ba si Secretary (Leonor) Briones? (My question is, is Secretary Briones experimenting?)” Castro asked.

“Saan ba galing ‘yung sinasabi nilang puwede nang mag face-to-face (classes) by January samantalang nakikita natin na tumataas pa rin ‘yung kaso ng COVID-19? (What was their basis for saying that face-to-face classes would be permittable by January despite the surge in COVID-19 cases that we are now having?)” said the militant lawmaker.

With the current rate of infections, the Philippines could breach the 80,000-mark for total COVID-19 cases before the month is over. And this doesn’t make the administration critic happy.

“So pagdating ng January, ano na kaya mangyayari doon? Or magkakaroon kaya ng development? So ekspeimento ang sinasabi ni Secretary Briones tungkol doon sa face-to-face (By January, what will have happened? Will there be any developments? So what Secretary Briones is saying regarding face-to-face classes is an experiment),” Castro said.

President Duterte said earlier this year that there won’t be face-to-face instruction for students up until such time that the a vaccine for COVID-19 is available in the market.

There has been a steady push from several sectors — including some of Castro’s own colleagues in the House of Representatives — to at least consider having in-classroom instruction in areas that are considered low risk from the pandemic.

Also included in the appeal are few pupils per class, since this would make the physical distancing rule easily implementable.

Briones has said  Duterte has given the green light for limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas.