A youth group said Wednesday the call for the immediate resumption of in-person classes is a very insensitive move as many Filipinos continue to grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan said the insistence on face-to-face classes from senators as well as Department of Education’s (DepEd) is an evasion of responsibility.
During a Senate hearing last Nov. 27, some senators, including Sen. Win Gatchalian and Sen. Imee Marcos, urged the DepEd to “consider implementing physical classes” as students might have difficulties under the new learning setup.
DepEd, through Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan, noted the need for “shared responsibility” should the conduct of face-to-face classes be allowed.
SPARK said the stand of DepEd is unacceptable because it is saying that “parents and local governments should also be held accountable in the case that learners and others get sick,” not just the agency.
The youth group lambasted Malaluan for shamelessly admitting that this is a way to avoid blame because “it will strengthen the position and arguments of those that are advocating for academic freeze.”
The group noted that the possible resumption of physical classes is a “demonstration of pure delusion” of the government in light of the current COVID-19 situation in the country.
“How can they assure the public, most especially the parents, teachers, and the students, that physical classes will be much safer if it is now implemented despite poor educational and health infrastructure in most places?” SPARK said.
The youth group maintained that until greater health infrastructures in schools and free mass testing and contract tracing are properly implemented, “the lives of not just the students alone but also their families and teachers will be at stake if the resumption of physical classes is immediately implemented.”