MANILA — A students' group said Thursday it is in favor of the gradual resumption of in-person classes in higher education, but schools should be able to guarantee their learners' safety.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) President Jandeil Roperos said the return to classroom instruction should be on a "case-to-case basis."
"Depende sa sitwasyon. Kung masisiguro iyong mga requisites for face-to-face classes, kahit sa Alert Level 3. Basta masiguro iyong testing... retrofitting ng mga school at ng mga classroom," she said.
(It depends on the situation. Schools should ensure that they can meet the requisites for face-to-face classes, even under Alert Level 3. As long as they can ensure testing... retrofitting of the school and classrooms.)
Roperos said there should also be quarantine facilities for schools that would report COVID-19 infections.
The youth leader appealed to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and national government to continue supporting the needs of the education sector.
"Ito ay sa porma ng dagdag na budget sa 2022 for education, lalo na nasa phase na tayo ng resuming of our physical classes," she said.
(This can be done by increasing the 2022 budget for education, especially since we're in the phase of resuming our physical classes.)
Roperos urged the CHED to declare an "academic ease" for students in areas that have seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.
CHED Chairman Propsero de Vera earlier said it was up to universities and colleges to decide if they would declare class suspensions in the face of rising COVID-19 infections.
The CHED recently said higher education institutions under Alert Level 3 can start holding in-person classes on Jan. 31, but they may defer this if conditions on the ground are not favorable.