Teachers’ group: Limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas for COVID-19 still “very dangerous” for students, teachers

President Duterte has approved the DepEd’s recommendation to hold face-to-face classes in low-risk areas for COVID-19 but on a limited basis./PCOO/

(Eagle News)–A teacher’s group on Tuesday, July 21, hit the Department of Education’s recent recommendation to hold limited face-to-face classes in areas where there is a low risk for COVID-19, and which was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a statement, Benjo Basas, chair of the Teachers Dignity Coalition, said the recommendation–which was a deviation from the no face-to-face classes previously announced by the Palace–was proof plans for the new school year have not been fully laid out yet.

He noted the opening of classes was already near, and that the DepEd should instead focus on how to better the methods for distance learning through online, radio/TV broadcast or through the modular approach.

The opening of classes is set on Aug. 24.

He added the conduct of face-to-face classes at this point, even if on a limited basis, was “very dangerous” even if this applied only in areas where there is a low number or no COVID-19 cases.

He said in previous instances, an easing of restrictions led to more people being exposed to the virus, noting what happened when the government allowed stranded people from Metro Manila to go back to their provinces.

“Sana naman bago ang mga pinal na pagpapasya hinggil sa class opening ay maikonsidera ang kahandaan ng sistema at ang kaligtasan ng mga bata, guro at lahat ng mga mamamayan,” Basas said.

In a meeting on Monday, President Duterte approved the proposal of DepEd, which emphasized the classes should be held only once or twice a week.

The DepEd had said this would close the gap between those who had the resources for online distance learning and those who did not have them.