Briones suggests face-to-face classes if teachers, children get vaccinated by August
MANILA, Philippines — Conducting pilot face-to-face classes amid the pandemic may be reconsidered if students and teachers have already been vaccinated against COVID-19 by August, Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones said Wednesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier rejected DepEd’s bid to resume in-person classes, considering that most of the population have not yet been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, especially children, who are not in the government’s priority for vaccination.
However, Briones said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. gave the assurance that the government will try to inoculate children “at particular ages,” as well as their teachers, by August.
“Binigyan tayo ng assurance ni Secretary Galvez na susubukan nila by August, perhaps at the latest, kung ma-vaccinate ang ating kabataan at particular ages at saka ‘yung mga teachers,” she said in a pre-State of the Nation (Sona) forum.
(Secretary Galvez gave us the assurance that they will try to vaccinate the youth and their teachers by August.)
“Pwede na sigurong i-consider ‘yung pino-propose namin lagi na i-pilot ang face-to-face at dadating at dadating ‘yung panahon na ‘yan,” she added.
(Maybe we can consider our proposal to pilot face-to-face classes and that time will come.)
Ultimately, it will be the President who will decide on whether to resume in-person classes. In the meantime, DepEd is making use of blended learning for children’s education.
DepEd planned to hold a dry run of limited face-to-face classes in certain areas earlier this year but Duterte cancelled it due to the emergence of COVID-19 variants.
The President is also set to decide on the date of the opening of the next school year, Briones said, adding that the education department has given Duterte three dates for the opening: August 23, September 6, or September 13.
Classes this school year are set to end this month and Briones said DepEd will hold make-up classes and summer classes for students during the academic break.
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