Malacañang said the government’s pandemic task force will take into consideration the appeal of National Capital Region (NCR) mayors to have a pilot run of face-to-face classes in every city there amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the Department of Education (DepEd) released the list of schools from low-risk areas that are allowed to have limited in-person classes starting Nov. 15.
In an online presser on Friday, Roque said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has always listened to what Metro Manila mayors had to say.
“Hindi po natin kailan binabalewala ang panawagan at rekomendasyon ng mga Metro manila mayors dahil sila naman po ang nagpapatupad ng mga polisiya ng IATF (We never ignored the calls and recommendations of the Metro Manila mayors because they are the ones implementing the policies of the IATF),” he said.
“Pakikinggan po sila (The IATF will hear their call),” he added.
President Duterte approved last month the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in areas that will be classified as low-risk for COVID-19. This, after the public education system resorted to blended learning methods for the past year and a half due to the pandemic.
The pilot implementation will follow a strict set of guidelines on learners, class size, and approach. One important factor is that the parents should give their written consent for their kids to participate in the pilot run.
Roque has said that the move to bring back face-to-face classes, although on a limited scale, was an important step since it has become an issue on the childrens’ mental health, socialization skills, and the economy.
DepEd released this week the list of 59 schools that received the green light to hold limited face-to-face classes.
The pilot implementation of the limited in-person classes will last for two months.