THE President’s message seems to refer to face-to-face schooling. While we acknowledge his statement, we have to wait for clarification from Malacañang, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the Department of Education (DepEd).
We recognize other modes of teaching, like what the DepEd proposes. But with the possible suspension of the opening on August, the DepEd can focus on its plans to deliver alternative modes of learning while Congress starts discussing proposals to amend the law on class opening within June and August.
We are one with the DepEd Secretary in the belief that education must continue even at a time of this pandemic. Given the skills and infrastructure, our teachers will gladly comply. We hope the DepEd will consider the views of education stakeholders, especially parents and teachers, in crafting their plans. Earlier, we called for wider consultation.
While there seems to be an order to halt the school opening scheduled on Aug. 24, which is very much welcome, we believe that the discovery of vaccines should not be a pre-requisite for schooling. But rather, a further delay would give us time to train our teachers, prepare our parents and set-up our school system for the “new normal.” And, perhaps, by January, consistent with UP Resilience Institute studies, minimal physical interaction may be safe, and, as the President predicts, a vaccine may already have been discovered. (By Teachers Dignity Coalition)