MANILA — The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) on Saturday called on government to establish health measures that would ease students' worries as the Philippines seeks to transition to full face-to-face classes after long school closures.
"Sa lahat ng mga estudyante masiguro na magkaroon ng regular testing, maayos na tracing, at siyempre libre 'yung treatment sa mga estudyante at iba't ibang education stakeholders sa panahon na mayroong magpositibo," NUSP national president Jandeil Roperos told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
The Philippines aims to conduct 100% face-to-face classes by November, as announced by Vice President Sara Duterte, who heads the Department of Education (DepEd).
Physical classes in basic education resumed in late 2021 in nearly 300 pilot schools.
In February, the DepEd kicked off an expansion, allowing more schools to hold face-to-face classes.
Roperos said according to their surveys, most students want to go back to in-person learning but seek further guidelines on COVID-19 safety.
"Sa surveys naman namin na kinonduct namin sa NUSP student councils all over the country, gusto na talaga pumasok sa physical classes pero hindi rin nila [isinasantabi] 'yung kanilang kaligtasan," she said.
"Kaya tinatanong nila kung okay ba 'yung preparation ng kanilang schools kasi sa higher education nasa prerogative ng schools kung magbubukas siya for face to face classes or hindi."
Bringing back the full operations of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic would require additional funds, according to Roperos.
"Ibig sabihin diyan dagdag na pondo para sa edukasyon kasi kung sasabihin natin 'yung transition learning na face-to-face blended education nangangailangan 'yan ng pera for devices pera para sa preparation ng face-to-face classes," she said.
"'Yung face-to-face classes long overdue na siya na panawagan," she also said, pointing out that struggles to reopen the schools would be avoided if the government was more prepared.
—TeleRadyo, July 16, 2022