A leader of the opposition Makabayan bloc welcomed on Monday, Sept. 20 the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to allow limited face-to-face classes in 120 schools in the country.
Asst. Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro said the welcome development in the country’s current state of education should also be supported with government actions that will guarantee safe reopening of schools.
She also reiterated the demands for the safe reopening of schools with adequate budget, facilities, protection and support to teachers and students.
“The approval of having pilot limited face-to-face classes in areas where there is minimal risk of COVID-19 is a welcome development. After more than a year of school closures, quality and access to education for every Filipino youth has been sacrificed,” said Castro.
She called on the Department of Education to ensure that the pilot face-to-face classes would have adequate facilities and health protocols in place.
“The Duterte administration must support our schools, provide adequate funds to protect the students, teachers and education support personnel and ensure they will not be abandoned,” Castro said.
“Teachers should be adequately supported by the government with gadgets, internet allowances and just compensation for the service they rendered. Also the youth should also have access to gadget support and data allowances, especially the poorest of the poor,” she stressed.
“The longer the Duterte administration keeps schools closed and continues to deny adequate funding to support the blended distance learning that the poorest youth can access without compromising quality education, learning loss among students only continues to worsen,” said Castro.
The lawmaker stressed: “Another year of modules for students without adequate guidance from their teachers will be another wasted year for the students, teachers and parents.”