Women’s group amplifies call for safe resumption of classes

With only a week remaining before classes begin, Alliance of Filipino women, Gabriela, expressed their doubt and concerns over the Department of Education’s (DepEd) “hasty” preparations for the School Year (SY) 2022-2023.

(DepEd File Photo)

Gabriela Spokesperson Rose Bihag, in a press statement issued on Monday, Aug. 15, questioned DepEd’s plans and preparations for the so-called safe resumption of the much-delayed implementation of in-person classes.

“Gusto namin na makapasok ang aming mga anak sa paaralan dahil mahigit tatlong taon na ang blended learning. Pero nababahala din kami kung ligtas na nga bang papasukin ang aming mga anak. Sapat na ba ang preparasyon ng DepEd para di magkahawaan ng virus? (We want our children to go to school because blended learning has been going on for more than three years already. But we are also worried if it is safe to let our children in. Is the DepEd’s preparation sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus?),” said Bihag.

Classes for SY 2022-2023 will officially begin on Monday, Aug. 22. While DepEd is encouraging schools to resume in-person classes, it also stated that it will provide institutions the ample time to transition from blended learning to full five-day face-to-face classes.

This is why blended learning may only be implemented until Oct. 31, 2022. All public and private schools across the country were mandated to begin in-person classes beginning Nov. 2, 2022.

While Gabriela supports the “long-awaited” resumption of face-to-face classes, it also reiterated that the provision of health kits, vitamins, and school supplies is also needed. Apart from these, the women’s group likewise emphasized the need for a “pro-people education program” to ensure the safety of the students.

It also brought up the “long-denied” subsidy for families and students who are in need.

“ believe that it is now, more than ever, that the P10,000 economic support for families and the P10,000 student aid should be prioritized by the government,” it furthered.

DepEd, on the other hand, assured the public that health measures will strictly be enforced in schools to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Students, according to DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa, will be required to wear face masks, use alcohol, adhere to physical distancing, and simply observe proper hygiene.