Senators press DepEd on conducting limited face-to-face classes
Some senators are dismayed over the lack of urgency of the Department of Education in conducting limited face-to-face classes in areas with low risk for COVID-19.
“From my impression, why does it seem that there’s no sense of urgency?” said Sen. Nancy Binay at a Senate hearing.
Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the Inter-Agency Task Force for Infectious and Emerging Diseases (IATF) had already approved a joint circular of the DepEd and Department of Health (DOH) for holding limited face-to-face classes.
There are 100 schools eyed to take part in the pilot testing of physical classes that will start in September.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to approve the plan. The DepEd has yet to present the plans to the President.
Sen. Pia Cayetano mentioned the Philippines was one of the few remaining countries that have yet to conduct physical classes amid the pandemic.
“We need to be proactive about this,” said Cayetano.
“Despite the Delta, we have to be able to live with this. If it was just the US and Europe who were able to send their kids to school, then I would be a little less adamant in getting our kids to physical school,” she said.
“But it’s basically the whole world, except 14 of us. We really have to be able to work around this,” she added.
Binay and Cayetano also pressed the DepEd why the plan was not yet presented to Duterte.
“We’re not saying there’s no effort from you,” Binay said.
“We’re just saying we don’t see it. So we are concerned if you’re rallying the way that other agencies are rallying for their constituents?”
“What you’re telling us, the President should have been first before us,” she said. “At the end of the day, he will make the decision.”
“If he doesn’t know what you will implement, he would surely say no face-to-face classes,” said Binay.
“That rollout is so slow and pathetic if you ask me. Sorry, but you’re really lagging behind,” Cayetano said.