TheDepartment of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has opposed proposals to resume face-to-face classes in schools at this time, saying it might cause a spike in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año voiced his opposition to the idea after some lawmakers suggested the reopening of schools in some areas of the country with minimal or no cases of Covid-19.
“When you say face-to-face classes of students, you deal with millions of students, so we have no control over it,” he said, pointing out that President Rodrigo Duterte had already pronounced that face-to-face classes would not be allowed until the end of this year.
“Let us follow the order of the President. By January, there would be numerous changes),’’ he added.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who chairs the Committee on Basic Education, in a recent Senate hearing, said he favors and supports the proposed localized and limited face-to-face learning classes workshops to ease the burden of parents who are having difficulty teaching their children at home.
He noted that if massage parlors have already been allowed to operate, schools must also be allowed to open for limited face-to-face classes, since the Covid-19 situation is getting better in some areas of the country.
Senators Imee Marcos and Nancy Binay have likewise noted that cockpit arenas and tourism sites have now also reopened. Despite these arguments, Año still opposes the holding of “physical classes.’’ He said the enforcement of minimum health protocols in schools “will be extremely difficult” to manage.
Schools, except a few (private), have resumed classes on October 5 under the Department of Education’s Blended Learning Program, with about 22.5 million learners using modules, radio, television, and the internet.