Private schools seek gov't aid for resumption of face-to-face classes


Posted at Mar 04 2021 08:00 AM | Updated as of Mar 04 2021 08:08 AM

Private schools seek gov't aid for resumption of face-to-face classes 1
Students wear face masks in a school in Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City on Feb. 3, 2020, about a month before the Philippines implemented a lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - A group of private schools is asking government to alleviate costs following the Senate's approval of the proposal to conduct pilot testing for the resumption of face to face classes.

The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines appealed to government for an "economic intervention" should face to face classes resume alongside distance learning, said its managing director Joseph Estrada.

"Kapag pababayaan natin na private school ang gagastos, siyempre maipapasa sa estudyante, kaya po kami ay nanawagan sa gobyerno ng economic intervention," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(If we will let private schools shoulder the costs, it will be passed on to the students, so we're calling on government for an economic intervention.)

"Kahit hindi na diretso sa school, dun na sa estudyante para maibsan naman 'yung burden, 'yung cost."

(Even if you don't give it directly to the school, just to the student so the cost can be alleviated.)

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The Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution recommending the conduct of face-to-face pilot classes in 1,000 schools in areas with zero COVID-19 cases in the last 30 days, according to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.

"Walang pilitan ito. Kung ang ating mga magulang ay di komportable sa pagpapadala ng kanilang anak sa eskuwelahan, hindi ho pipilitin," he said.

(It's not mandatory. If parents are not comfortable in sending their children to school, we will not force them.)

Face to face classes are important for children to develop their socio-emotional skills and to those who get their nutritious meals at school and face difficulties and abuse at home, said Gatchalian.

"Hindi lang pag-aaral ang pinakaimportante sa mga bata. Ang pinakamahalaga sa kanila ang paghahalubilo, pakikipagkapwa-tao dahil ito ay nadedevelop ang kaniyang communication," he said.

(Studying is not the only important thing to children. It's also important for them to socialize to develop their communication skills.)

President Rodrigo Duterte has twice rejected holding of pilot testing of in-person classes, saying "I am not ready to lose the lives of our young people."

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