Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones said children are more likely to be infected by COVID-19 at home than at school, according to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The secretary said this on Wednesday as the government prepares to try out limited face-to-face classes starting January 2021.
“Sinasabi na lahat ng pag-aaral nagpapakita na ang pinaka-lowest threat ay sa schools. Ang malaking posibilidad ay sa homes kasi that is where they spend most of their time and other places,” Briones explained in the Laging Handa briefing, allegedly based on a UNICEF report.
Recently, UNICEF asked the government to “prioritize reopening schools and take all possible actions to make them as safe as possible.” Based on the latest study from data from 191 countries, it appears that there is “no association between school status and COVID-19 infection rates in the community.”
“Kaya tinitingnan namin iyan sa mga pag-aaral but, ingat pa rin tayo dahil sinasabi na ang mga bata maski asymptomatic – hindi natin sila tinitingnan dahil asymptomatic sila – baka may dala-dala silang virus na puwedeng ipasa sa members ng kanilang households,” said Briones.
Face-to-face classes will be held in select schools in areas with low COVID-19 transmission from January 11 to 23, 2021.
Briones: Children more likely to get COVID-19 at home than at school
The dry run will be monitored by DepEd and the COVID-19 National Task Force.
The government explained that attendance at face-to-face classes is voluntary, and parents of children must agree to attend classes.
“Kami naman sa Department of Education, nakikita namin na baka mag-expect ang taumbayan na ngayong may posibilidad na may vaccine na ay i-implement na ang face-to-face,” Briones said.
“Kaya iyong permiso na hinihingi namin sa Presidente ay paggawa ng pilot study para kung nandiyan na ang vaccine, handa na ang lahat, mayroon na kaming ideya kung paano namin ito ipapatupad,” she added.
There are 1,114 schools recommended to participate in the pilot run, but the schools’ situation will be reviewed so it can be reduced.