Sen. Go wants DepEd to reconsider plans on face-to-face classes

Published December 16, 2020, 9:18 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Wednesday expressed his reservations on the planned pilot testing of face-to-face classes by the Department of Education (DepEd) in areas that will be considered as low-risk for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in January 2021.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (OFFICE OF SEN. BONG GO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, said that he still prefers the postponement of the planned face-to-face classes until vaccines that are proven safe and effective are available for the public.

“Ako naman po personally, ‘no (safe) vaccine, no face-to-face classes’ pa rin po. Kasi po, pag meron naging positibo diyan na isa, back to square one, back to zero na naman tayo at panibagong contact tracing na naman,” he said. (I personally favor a ‘no {safe} vaccine, no face-to-face classes’. When one is tested positive, back to square one, back to zero for a new contract tracing.)

“Iilang buwan na lang po magsasara na (ang) school year. Antayin na lang sana natin na meron nang safe na vaccine para unti-unti makapag-adjust na tayo sa normal nating pamumuhay,” he added. (The school year will soon end. We should wait for a safe vaccine so that we slowly adjust to our normal lives.)

Go is also skeptical that parents would give consent to their children attending physical classes while an on-going pandemic still exists in the country.

“Pangalawa, kung sabihin nila kailangan ng consent po ng magulang. Sa tingin niyo ba may mga magulang na magbibigay ng (consent)?” Go said. (Second, if they say the consent of the parents, do you think the parents would give it?) “Halimbawa, singkwenta sa isang classroom, ang magbibigay pa ng consent eh iisa lang po o dalawa lang po o baka mas maraming matakot na magbigay ng (consent) na papasukin po ang kanilang mga anak,” he added. (For example, in a classroom of 50, one or two parents give their consent or a majority would be afraid to give their consent allowing their children to attend.)

Go then urged DepEd to study and reconsider their stand.

“Siguro, dapat pag-aralan muna, hindi naman po sa ayaw ko o kumokontra ako sa proposal ng ating DepEd. Sana pag-aralan muna natin ng mabuti dahil nakataya dito ang buhay ng bawat bata at bawat Pilipino,’’ he added. (DepEd should probably study it first not because if am against it or I am blocking DepEd’s proposal. I hope they study this carefully because the life of a learner and every Filipino is at stake here.)

He further emphasized that in every decision that the government should make, the lives of Filipinos must be prioritized and protected.

“Hindi lang naman po (buhay) ng estudyante natin. Pag-aralan mabuti dahil para sa akin — a life lost is a life lost forever. Pag meron pong namatay diyan, hindi na po natin maibabalik,” he stressed. (It is not only the life of our students. Study the proposal carefully. A life lost is a life lost forever.)

Go emphasized that while it is important for education to continue, the necessary precautions and risks must be taken into consideration.

“Ang importante po sa atin hindi maantala ‘yung pag-aaral ng mga bata, tuloy-tuloy po, sabi ko nga huwag na sana ibagsak. Pumasa sila next grade level at tuloy-tuloy po ang kanilang pag-aaral… marahil po ay baka pag unti-unti naging normal ang sitwasyon, maaaring puwede na natin buksan,” he said. (What is important is that the studies of the young should go on, I hope that you do not flunk them. They go to the next grade level. Hoping that the road leads to normalcy then we open the classroom for a regular school year.)