Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Friday threw his support behind the 2021 budget proposal of the Department of Education (DepEd) as he called on schools and other educational institutions to adhere to President Duterte’s directive to postpone face-to-face classes until a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available in the country.
Go, Senate Finance Committee vice chairman, stressed the importance of ensuring the health and safety of the students, teachers, and wider community as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to plague the nation.
Go agreed that the education of the students could no longer be put on a standstill.
He urged DepEd and other concerned authorities to exert more effort in improving further the digital educational system while face-to-face classes remain prohibited.
Go commended their efforts but urged stakeholders to keep their endeavors flexible and adaptable to the different needs and situations of their students.
He reminded DepEd to ensure that schools are ready for the opening of classes on October 5 through blended learning techniques.
Go also commended the DepEd for recognizing the pandemic’s mental toll on people, and for taking the necessary steps to address the needs and concerns of the students, their parents and the teaching and non-teaching personnel.
According to Go, psychological concerns must be taken into consideration when drafting programs and policies for the upcoming school year.
He then asked teachers to focus on their goal to educate students and refrain from putting unnecessary pressure.
Go expressed empathy for the challenges students are facing, adding that he too is not immune from experiencing unreliable internet connection.
“Let us not pressure our children learners, if possible,” he added.
He also lamented about poor Internet connectivity, urging private Internet providers to improve their services.
Go asked Internet providers to hasten their connectivity.
The senator from Davao expressed his support to provide DepEd and its attached agencies with enough resources to effectively and efficiently perform their functions during this uncertain and trying time.
Earlier this year, Go asked the government to bridge the gaps in the delivery of education without imposing unnecessary mental, emotional and financial stress on Filipino families.
He specifically encouraged the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and other relevant agencies to work together to fulfill the vision of providing universal Internet access that is both stable and affordable for all Filipinos.
He also called on DepEd to work in partnership with the private sector in order to make sure that all schools and families are adequately trained and equipped in the use of the new digital learning platforms.