DepEd backs in-person classes but 3 conditions have to be met

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 02 2020 05:23 PM

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MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) said Wednesday it would recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte anew the resumption of in-person classes in areas at low risk for COVID-19 spread.

Speaking on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said they remain supportive of calls of holding select classroom teaching as it is crucial in the learning process of students.

"The Department of Education recognizes that reintroducing face-to-face classes is important in the children's learning process that's why we are keenly interested in reintroducing it when the time comes and upon the approval of the President," he said in Filipino.

For the resumption of in-person classes, Malaluan said they were considering 3 things. First, they are evaluating epidemiological evidence on the odds of children contracting COVID-19 and if they are more contagious than adults.

Should it push through, stringent health measures such as mandatory wearing of face masks and observing physical distancing will be imposed by the agency, Malaluan added.

Lastly, the education official stressed that conducting face-to-face classes should be a shared responsibility by DepEd, local officials and other stakeholders. They may also have to ask for consent from parents about sending their children back to school, he added.

In July, President Rodrigo Duterte prohibited in-person classes until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available in the country. He said face-to-face classes may resume in January next year.

Classes in public schools in the country opened in October under a blended distance learning system due to the continuing threat of COVID-19, which has infected over 434,000 people in the country, with more than 8,400 deaths.