According to Gatchalian, the relevant agencies in the education sector should study the slow reopening of schools.
In addition, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) also allegedly made changes to the COVID-19 protocols.
The Senator further explained that of the 1,500 Local Government Units (LGUs), 400 of them have zero COVID and some of them have not yet had a virus case because they are in remote areas, islands and are considered low risk, so it should be opened the schools here.
He also said that the Department of Education (DepEd) should consider the gradual return of students to school or the 50% operation of classrooms.
Gatchalian further explained that we should experiment because it has not been done in the history of the country so we should first conduct an experiment for ‘face-to-face’ classes.
It will be recalled that President Duterte withdrew in December the plan to return face-to-face classes to some places in the country that should have started last month.
Gatchalian: Begin face-to-face classes in areas with no COVID cases
According to Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio, the agency continues to prepare for the dry run of limited face-to-face classes while awaiting the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“Naniniwala kami na iyong mga senior high school learners, lalo na sa tech-voc (technical vocational track), ay pwedeng maging priority,” said San Antonio in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
“Hindi rin sila kailangang sabay-sabay na magpuntahan sa school, staggered din iyan para mas kakaunti ang bata na nasa paaralan,” said San Antonio.
While there are no face-to-face classes yet, DepEd also allegedly monitors the implementation of distance learning as well as providing flexibility in passing the requirements of students.