DAGUPAN CITY – With just a day before the scheduled opening of schools, Mayor Marc Brian Lim has decided to move the start of classes for this school year to October 4 due to the current public health emergency.
In Executive Order (EO) No. 29 issued on Saturday night, September 11, Lim said the postponement includes all school activities that will require face-to-face interaction and mass gathering, such as releasing of self-learning modules and others that qualify as health risk.
However, school activities not requiring physical presence or face-to-face interaction among the stakeholders may be permitted to proceed.
“The EO shall not cover the operation of schools previously permitted to open and which had already started, or with ongoing classes through cloud and video conferences and other remote platforms which do not require face-to-face interaction,” Lim said.
Schools, colleges, and universities allowed to conduct face-to-face classes, internship, and in-campus laboratory for hospital practicum, only for medical and health allied programs consistent with the joint memorandum circular of the Department of Health and the Commission on Higher Education, are also exempted from the coverage of the EO, he added.
Lim said the Dagupan City Public School Teachers and Employees Association Inc. pleaded through a communication with the city government for an issuance postponing the opening of schools considering that teachers and personnel risk being exposed to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection with the face-to-face interaction related to the opening of classes and distribution of self-learning modules.
“The opening of classes requires the reporting for work of teachers and personnel to distribute, and the parents trooping to the schools to receive the self-learning modules for the pupils, and thus lead not only to face-to-face interaction but also to mass gathering, which should be restricted as part of stringent health measures against the spread of the virus,” he added.
As of Sept. 10, Dagupan recorded 823 active Covid-19 cases.