Gov’t urged to address ‘initial concerns’ during pilot face-to-face classes

Published December 6, 2021, 2:30 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

As more schools join the implementation of pilot face-to-face classes amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country, a multi-stakeholder movement urged the government to address the initial challenges experienced by schools, teachers, students and parents.

Aurora A. Quezon Elementary School is among the 28 schools in Metro Manila allowed by the Department of Education (DepEd) to hold pilot face-to-face classes starting Dec. 6, 2021 (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Movement for Safe, Equitable, Quality, and Relevant (SEQuRe) Education composed of education experts, teachers, parents, and students on Monday, Dec. 6, underscored the need to address the concerns initially reported by stakeholders to pave the way for more schools to safely reopen despite the pandemic.

“These concerns must be addressed early into the pilot run as we do not want them to bog down the safe reopening of more schools across the country,” said SEQuRe Education Movement convenor Mercedes Arzadon.

Arzadon noted that the group has received initial concerns on the implementation of pilot face-to-face classes which started for public schools on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22 for private schools.

One of the concerns reported was the “insufficient health protection mechanisms” especially in private schools.

The group also pointed out the “contradictory policies” of the lead agencies including the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) resolution on the mandatory vaccination policy among school personnel.

SEQuRe Education Movement also raised concerns on the “lack of clear guidelines on content and pedagogy for face-to-class classes” which will now be blended with remote learning.

The group claimed that it also received reports of “out-of-pocket expenses” of teachers and learners to prepare for face-to-face classes — among others.

Aside from these, Arzadon said that “we must also ensure that the time our learners spend in school will be maximized to address learning loss and learning poverty.”

On Dec. 6, DepEd said that 28 schools in Metro Manila joined the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes.


Pilot face-to-face classes in Metro Manila schools ‘smooth’ so far — DepEd

Aside from schools in the National Capital Region (NCR), DepEd and DOH also allowed 149 schools in other regions to participate in the pilot run.


DepEd: 177 more schools to participate in pilot run of limited face-to-face classes