Group of teachers favors easing of distancing restrictions

A group of teachers announced Tuesday that they favor allowing more students to schools for face-to-face classes.

This follows the announcement by the Department of Education that it is possible to ease the physical distancing in classrooms in Alert Level 1 schools entering the next school year.

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“Hindi ko naman po sinasabing sapat na, hindi ko rin sinasabing ligtas na tayo sa August. Pero ang amin pong gustong i-highlight po dito ay, well, lahat na po ay nag-face-to-face… iyong mga malls, iyong mga basketball, mga liga, iyong campaign noong nakaraang eleksyon… Bakit hindi iyong ating mga klase?” said Benjo Basas, chairperson of Teachers’ Dignity Coalition.

“Kasi talagang nag-suffer na po nang husto iyong ating mga mag-aaral doon sa very limited learning and even iyong ating mga magulang, at siyempre iyong ating mga teacher,” he added.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) group questioned what DepEd has done to make schools “pandemic resilient” and where the additional classrooms and teachers are.

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DepEd clarified that although it is pushing for more schools to be able to have face-to-face classes next school year, blended or distance learning will still be allowed.

“The extent [of blended learning] will be contained in the guidelines. In other words, how many days will be on face-to-face and how many will be allowed for remote learning, as a combination,” explained Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan.

Group of teachers favors easing distancing restrictions

According to the latest DepEd record, 32,787 public schools are already conducting limited face-to-face classes, equivalent to 72.66 percent of the total number.

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According to DepEd, about 1,063 private schools are taking in-person classes, or only 8.60 percent of the total.

Pasig Elementary School is ready if it extends face-to-face classes next school year, said principal Emelita Medona.

Even with face-to-face classes, modules and online classes will still be available, while health protocols against will remain.

“Halimbawa, 4,000 pupils namin, meron kaming Set A and Set B. Halimbawa, iyong Set A na pupils namin, Monday narito siya, ang Set B naman namin ay Tuesday. And then Wednesday, all children synchronous… they will all experience face-to-face classes,” explained Medona.

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