Lobaton: Vague intentions


IF THERE is one example that our institutions may have failed to see the reason for their functions, it is in the way they want to restore face-to-face classes among our students. This after the Department of Education (DepEd) proposed for such mode and has previously laid out conditions for the implementation on pilot areas considered with less number of Covid-19 cases.

President Rodrigo Duterte turned down this proposal and extended it until August of this year, the possible target of implementation, which by then, it is hoped we have rolled out the vaccine program of the government.

In the words of the president through Secretary Harry Roque, “the president cannot sacrifice the safety of the teachers and students until vaccination could start and that it is safe that coronavirus will not be transmitted.”

To go back to this mode had long been proposed at the height of the pandemic, yet the national government remained firm to consider that safety should be above all and be the reference point of all actions, otherwise we will go back to the problems of uncontrolled cases of Covid-19.

I agree that government should maintain its resolve not to entertain the face-to-face mode in schools particularly in basic education. Students in the elementary still need guidance especially on ensuring their safety and when they go out of their homes and interact with their fellow students.

I just can’t believe that DepEd might have missed internalizing many things before their proposal. They should have balanced their actions with full consideration of safety. After all, this will all be nothing if we are infected with the disease.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the Philippines exceeded more than half a million and that measures need to be in place so that we could continue the fight against the coronavirus. The situation suggests that momentum should be maintained and that we cannot become complacent. If the trend tells us our measures are effective, we have reasons to preserve this situation until the government can declare herd immunity for its people after vaccination had been implemented.

I am a believer in a face-to-face approach to learning. But we should also reflect on the implementation of our policies on education with due consideration on the welfare of the people.

The government has an obligation to look at its policy and not to simply impose it to follow an unknown direction. In fact, the roadmap for learning should be clear to the people particularly in what we really want to achieve in the years after this pandemic have been experienced.

Our learning institutions cannot stand as a burden that makes life even harder for our people particularly on our students and their parents. They should always look at where they are standing and get their authority from. Surely, you don’t make it hard for people who actually gave you the mandate to do things for them.

That is the situation when we lack the proper consciousness as a society. We have not seen the endpoint of things even at the making and implementation of our policies. Those in government should realize that they don’t make and implement policies for their own selves but for the people of this country.


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