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Manila Bulletin - 2021-05-05

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Go: Address concerns of student, teachers before resuming face-to-face classes

National News

By MARIO B. CASAYURAN

Senator Christopher Lawrence Go on Tuesday, May 4, said he believes that the health and safety of students, teachers and non-teaching personnel in schools must be carefully taken into consideration in making a decision as to when faceto-face classes must be resumed. While recognizing the challenges still being faced by particularly poor students under the blended learning set-up and arguably better instruction offered by the traditional face-to-face classes, the senator explained that the safety of everyone in school remains the primordial interest. Last year, Go also appealed to education authorities as well as those in government media outlets to utilize various approaches and tools in order to lessen the burden of specially poorer students who cannot afford to buy computer gadgets and those residing in remote places without or limited internet connectivity as online class is one of the options taken by a significant number of students under the blended learning set-up. “‘Di pa naman sigurado ‘yan opening of classes dahil for approval pa po ‘yan ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) (The opening of classes is not yet sure because this has to be approved by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases),” said Go in an interview after attending the launchings of the 104th Malasakit Center at the Leyte Provincial Hospital and the 105th at the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital both in Palo, Leyte. “Ako naman po, ‘wag po tayo masyadong magmadali. Bigyan natin ng konting espasyo ang ating mga guro dahil mahirap po sa panahong ito ‘pag meron pong nagpositibo na isang guro o estudyante ay mahihirapan na naman tayo sa contact tracing dahil naka-focus ngayon sa pagbabakuna (For me, let us not rush it. Let us give our teachers space because it is hard at this time if a teacher or a student gets positive, we will be having difficulties in contact tracing because we are now focused on the vaccination),” he added. Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, stressed that he is not in favor of holding face-to-face classes until herd immunity is achieved through vaccination. The Department of Education (DepEd) plans to start the next school year on August 23, which will shorten the break of students to six weeks from the usual two months. DepEd also said that they are preparing an “ideal scenario” next school year where physical classes would complement remote learning in low risk areas.

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