Romulo wants no pilot testing for face-to-face classes in urban centers, urges Deped to prepare bridging programs
House Committee on Basic Education and Culture Chair Roman Romulo today maintained that there should be no pilot testing for face-to-face classes in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other urban centers in the country sans COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Guesting at the weekly “Ugnayan sa Batasan” media forum, Romulo also maintained that urban centers should be distinct from the rural areas when it comes to going back to face-to-face classes.
“‘Pag pinag-usapan natin ang urban areas at NCR, sigurado ko po hindi talaga pwede magkaroon ng pilot face-to-face. ‘Yung mga pini-prisenta po, lalo na ‘yung mga studies na pinapakita nila sa ibang bansa, tingin ko po hindi tutugma o sasang-ayon dito sa ating bansa,” Romulo said.
The Pasig City lawmaker underscored that face-to-face classes in NCR and other urban areas must not be allowed without the COVID-19 vaccine, especially since most Department of Education (DepEd) schools in said areas are located in densely-populated places, making it difficult to implement minimum health standards such as physical distancing.
“Hangga’t walang vaccine, sigurado ako dapat sa NCR and urban centers hindi dapat magkaroon ng face-to-face classes, kahit pilot lang. Hindi talaga pupuwede. Mas mahalaga ‘yung buhay ng tao.”
When it comes to the rural areas, the Pasig City solon said the DepEd, Department of Health (DOH) and local government units (LGUs) should make the necessary preparations and coordination in accordance with available data and actual situation.
“Sa mga rural areas, ‘pag preparado po ang DOH, DepEd at LGU na may magandang ugnayan—hindi lang po ‘yung datos na may mababang COVID—kailangan po eh ano ang contingency plans nila ‘pag nagsimula na ang pilot face-to-face doon na masusunod ang minimum health protocols,” Roman said.
Citing the challenges and difficulties of parents, students and even teachers in blended or distance learning in the country, Roman urged the DepEd to adjust and be flexible in the delivery of education.
“Mahirap talaga ang distance learning, talagang bababa pa ang kalidad ng edukasyon kung hindi mag-aadjust ‘yung pagtuturo natin. Kung susundan pa rin natin ‘yung too rigid tayo na ang gagawin natin ay competencies pa rin. Dapat dito, flexible enough tayo, let us see the reality. Siguraduhin natin na very focused na and targeted ‘yung gusto nating matutunan ng ating mga mag-aaral,” he opined.
Roman likewise emphasized the need for DepEd to prepare bridging programs and identify learning competencies of students that need to be addressed when the country returns to having face-to-face classes.