MANILA -- A party-list lawmaker recommended that classes for the next school year should be held in shifts to reduce class sizes and avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo of the Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) party-list suggested "shifting days of classes in all areas under quarantine."
"Some grade levels have classes on Mondays to Wednesdays. The others have sessions on Thursday to Saturdays," Tulfo said in a statement Wednesday.
Tulfo specified her proposal for class shifts:
Kindergarten to Elementary School
- Kindergarten to Grade 3: Monday to Wednesday only
- Grade 4 to Grade 6: Thursday to Saturday only
Junior High School
- Grade 7 and Grade 8: Monday to Wednesday only
- Grade 9 and Grade 10: Thursday to Saturday only
Senior High School
- Grade 11: Monday to Wednesday only
- Grade 12: Thursday to Saturday only
- 1st Year and 2nd Year: Monday to Wednesday only
- 3rd Year, 4th Year, and 5th Year: Thursday to Saturday only
The lawmaker also called for a ban on activities on Sundays, such as the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and National Service Training Program in colleges.
Sundays can be a rest day for students while schools conduct weekly disinfection, she said.
Tulfo pushed as well for a comprehensive health check on teachers, non-teaching staff, students, parents, and guardians to ensure that "there are no carriers and infected among these people who interact around school activities."
Schools may also implement a combination of alternative learning methods such as online learning and open high, she said.
The Department of Education (DepED) earlier said it was still finalizing its learning continuity plan that will ensure the continued schooling of students during the coronavirus crisis.
The DepEd is also looking into various alternatives to deliver education to students, such as blending online and classroom learning.
Classes were abruptly cut in mid-March after Luzon was placed on lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease. Other areas in the Visayas and Mindanao have implemented similar measures.
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to decide on Thursday whether to lift, extend or relax the Luzon-wide lockdown. -- Report from Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News