Advocacy group Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) asked Sunday, March 7, the Duterte government to seriously study and consider the proposals seeking the resumption of face-to-face classes, particularly in areas with zero cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
PBEd Executive Director Love Basillote said the Philippines has been lagging behind among its neighbors in Southeast Asia and in the Asia and Pacific region as far as the resumption of physical classes is concerned.
“Bakit po laging huli ang education? Bakit huli ang schools? Kung nabubuksan na po natin ang sinehan, pero bakit ang schools palaging huli? Baka pinapakita natin sa mga kabataan na huli sila na kino-consider ng ating bansa,(Why is it that education is always lagging behind? Why schools are not prioritized? If we can reopen our cinemas, why schools are not prioritized? Maybe we are showing to our youth that they are the country’s least priority.)” she told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo in an interview.
The PBEd official said the government should consider resuming face-to-face classes, especially in areas with zero cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), citing that the remote learning further magnified and worsened the “inequality” in the country’s educational system.
“Nananawagan po talaga kami sa gobyerno na pagisipan talaga at umaapela po kami na baka puwedeng buksan ang paaralan sa mga area na wala namang COVID na, zero naman ang COVID kasi baka napapalala lang natin ‘yung already na malala na sitwasyon sa ating paaralan (We are calling on the government to think it really carefully and we are appealing if we could open the schools in areas with no COVID or with zero COVID case because we are only worsening the already worse situation of our schools),” Basillote said.
In an interview with TeleRadyo, Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said in Calabarzon, an island in Quezon has been nominated to be included in the list of schools that will join the pilot implementation or dry run of limited face-to-face classes.
He noted that the department is “currently revising” such list and that the priority will be given to schools in areas with zero cases of coronavirus infections, especially during the past month or last February.
In December last year, DepEd proposed the dry run of limited face-to-face classes. President Duterte initially approved such proposal, but was eventually deferred due to the detection of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) UK variant in the country.