NTF considering internet shops as study rooms for poor students

Published October 7, 2020, 5:13 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 will discuss a proposal to allow minors, especially poor students who could not afford to buy gadgets and internet connections, into computer and internet shops in order for them to cope with the demand of online and modular learning.

(Kai Hendry via Flickr / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año,  vice chairman of the NTF on COVID-19, said the proposal will be presented to the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said Año made the statement after he sought clarification on whether or not minor students would be allowed to go to computer internet shops.

He said the existing guideline prohibits minors from entering business establishments that include computer and internet shops as part of the health safety measures amid the threat of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

We feel and understand the concerns of both the students and the parents, especially the poor, in this new kind of learning method. That is why the national government, through the NTF on COVID-19 and the IATF are really finding ways to extend all the necessary assistance to them,” said Eleazar.

While some Local Government Units (LGUs) have been providing gadgets and internet connection to their respective students, most of the LGUs, however, do not have enough funds to extend the same assistance to their learners.

Amid problems besetting the online and modular type of learning, Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan has also tapped the local police commanders to extend all the necessary assistance for online learners in their respective Areas of Responsibility (AORs).

One of them is the approval of the recommendation of the JTF COVID Shield for all police commanders to make initiatives for the poor parents and students in accessing internet connection for their online classes, noting that poor students have no means to buy computers and gadgets.

Eleazar said that they will wait for the decision of the IATF regarding the proposal to turn computer and internet shops as learning spaces for minor online and modular learning students.

“Whatever the decision, the JTF COVID Shield and the PNP would make sure that the rules aimed at protecting as many people from coronavirus infection would be strictly implemented,” said Eleazar.

Early this week, the JTF COVID Shield also tasked police commanders to ensure that online and modular learning students would not be distracted by videoke and other noisy activities in their respective communities.