President Rodrigo Duterte has rejected the idea to continue the proposed face-to-face classes until a vaccine becomes available nationwide, Malacañang said on Monday, February 22.
On a virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, “Nagdesisyon na po ang Presidente, wala pa rin po tayong face-to-face classes sa bansa.”
“Tumawag po ang Presidente kagabi sa akin at sabi niya, ayaw po niyang malagay sa panganib ang buhay ng ating mag-aaral at mga guro habang wala pa pong nababakunahan sa bansa,” he added.
Roque added, “Sabi niya may awa po ang Panginoon, baka naman po matapos natin malunsad and ating vaccination program eh puwede na tayong mag face-to-face…”
The President expressed hope that maybe after the first rollout of the vaccines possibly by August, schools will be ready to operate classes in the low-risk areas.
On the other hand, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones seemed to suggest that schools should be reopened because learners wanted to go back to schools after several months of being locked down, according to the current survey conducted by DepEd.
Roque on the study of DepEd to hold face-to-face classes said, “It is also without prejudice to the Sec. of Education submitting all relevant information that they gathered preparatory to their move to reopen discussion on the holding of pilot face-to-face classes.”
Despite the lack of some education resources and sanitary facilities to achieve the reopening of classes, Briones herself cited what the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) said that the Philippines is the only country that hasn’t returned to physical classes.
However, earlier this year, Duterte has approved some of the medical and health science schools that seek to reopen classes in the country.
Those schools that can fully operate and are approved by the President were among medical private and public universities studying health-related classes that could soon help the Philippines in easing the health crisis.