MANILA — A group of teachers on Monday called on the government to resume in-person learning in areas deemed low risk for COVID-19.
Alliance of Concerned Teachers Secretary General Raymond Basilio said the country could still implement "limited, voluntary and targeted" face-to-face classes without endangering the safety of students and teachers.
As students have not been inside a classroom since schools closed last year to curb the spread of COVID, he said the group raised concern on the effectivity of blended learning.
"Tayo ay sobrang nababahala na sa maaaring effect nito sa ating mga kabataan," he told Teleradyo.
(We are gravely concerned on the possible effect of [blended learning] to our students.)
"Baka sa mga darating na taon, 'yung ating mga estudyante hindi marunong magsulat ng basic na sentence kasi wala tayong assurance na ang mga kabataan ay natututo sa kasalukuyang set-up," he added.
(Maybe in a few years, our students can't write a basic sentence because we don't have an assurance they are learning from the current set-up.)
Basilio said blended learning lack mechanisms for teachers to assess and provide feedback to students.
Should the government allow the safe return of students to schools, Basilio said in-person classes could be limited to only a few hours and few students at a time.
To date, only the Philippines and Venezuela are the 2 countries that haven't resumed face-to-face classes.
"Tingin ko po may mga sapat ng pag-aaral, may mga sapat ng lessons tayong makukuha mula sa experience ng napakaraming bansa kung ano ang kanilang taktika at pamamaraan kung bakit nagawa nilang magbukas nang paunti-unti ng kanilang klase," Basilio.
(I think there are enough studies and lessons we can get from other countries' experiences on why they are able to resume in-person classes.)
The Department of Education said last week it was planning to hold a dry run of limited in-person classes in 120 schools once President Rodrigo Duterte allows a pilot test.
Duterte has repeatedly rejected DepEd's proposals for the dry run due to concerns of more infectious COVID-19 variants.
Philippine schools will continue to implement distance learning in the coming school year scheduled to start on Sept. 13.
Some 14.7 million students so far have enrolled in basic education for School Year 2021-2022, which represent 56.4 percent of last year's total number of enrollees, according to DepEd data.