Senators are pushing for a return of face-to-face classes on a limited basis, following President Duterte’s directive to postpone them until the government can roll out its vaccination program against Covid-19.
In a hearing of the Senate committee on basic education on Wednesday, its chairman Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said that face-to-face classes can still be piloted even if the government policy was to put them on hold.
“This is a good way for our scientists to study what can be done to mitigate the effects of Covid,” Gatchalian said.
Senator Imee Marcos, who pushed for face-to-face classes as early as December last year, cited health statistics to allay fears about schools causing widespread infection.
Marcos cited that those 20 years old and below made up “less than 10% of infections and diagnosed cases” and that the pandemic’s total fatality rate remained low at about 2%.
The return of face-to-face classes would also allow parents to resume work full-time or to find jobs, Marcos added.
Senator Nancy Binay said the Department of Education should have been “more persuasive” in its recommendation to the President to let students return to the classroom while observing health and safety protocols.
Meanwhile, Senator Francis Pangilinan said that the lessons drawn from piloting face-to-face classes would be helpful in expanding their application when more people get immunized.