Duterte OKs January face-to-face classes on hopes of COVID-19 vaccine: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2020 04:59 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his penultimate State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City, July 27, 2020. Presidential Photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte allowed the resumption of limited face-to-face classes for next year on the assumption that a COVID-19 vaccine would be available by then, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in-person classes might start by January next year but blended learning would push through next month.

"Ang sabi po ng Presidente, kung merong vaccine at tingin naman niya sa Enero magkaka-vaccine na, baka naman po magkakaroon na tayo ng face-to-face classes," Roque said.

(The President said that if there is a vaccine, and we think by January there will be, maybe we ca have face-to-face classes.)

Duterte greenlighted the resumption of face-to-face classes after Education Secretary Leonor Briones presented health protocols that would be implemented with it.

The President gave his approval even as the country continues to see an increase in coronavirus infections.

"Yung pagpayag po niya noong nagkaroon ng pagpupulong kay Sec. Briones, pumayag po siya na January. Pero ang assumption po niya ay baka mayroon ng vaccine by January," Roque said.

(His approval during a meeting with Sec. Briones was on the assumption that there is a vaccine already by January.)

The Department of Education had said limited face-to-face classes would only be conducted in areas classified as having low-risk of COVID-19 transmission and if a local government unit or school made a request to their regional or division office.

But for the start of classes on Aug. 24, lessons will be delivered to students through online platforms, printed and digital modules, television, and radio.