Duterte lists 3 factors for safe resumption of face-to-face classes

Blended learning will be implemented this coming school year but the government has already set a three-point yardstick for the eventual resumption of in-person classes.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a public address at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on July 24, 2021. (Malacañang)

Before considering allowing students to physically return to school, President Duterte said the government must look into factors such as the coronavirus situation of a community and compliance of schools with health regulations.

In a 2016-2021 final report to the people, the President said the government remains committed to provide quality education amid a pandemic but will prioritize the safety of the students.

"Education remains our top priority amidst the pandemic as we strive to further boost the country’s human capital – an investment for the future of the Philippines," Duterte said.

"We have designed a three-pronged criteria towards the eventual safe resumption of face-to-face classes, namely (1) Community COVID Risk Assessment driven from our COVID-19 monitoring models; (2) School-based Readiness for Health Standards that encompasses the upkeep of sanitation in schools; and (3) Shared Responsibility that would muster the commitment of essential stakeholders towards a systematic and risk-based approach in the reintroduction of school- based instruction," he said.

The President has opposed the resumption of face-to-face classes since the pandemic started last year to ensure the protection of the students from the coronavirus. With the restrictions imposed on face-to-face classes, the education department has promoted the alternative learning schemes that include radio, television, online and modular learning.

Recently, Duterte wanted more Filipinos to get vaccinated against the coronavirus before mulling the revival of the traditional in-person classes in the country. He said he would not gamble with the lives of the students especially amid the threat posed by the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.

When the school year 2021-2022 opens this Sept. 13, the government will continue to prohibit face-to-face classes for the student's health and protection.

"The youth’s education has not and will not be sacrificed; their safety will remain our top priority. As such, we will still utilize blended learning for SY 2021- 2022," the President said.

"This is to ensure that we would enable learning to continue amidst the threat and uncertainties, while ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all learners, teachers, and other stakeholders," he added.