Parents teachers group pushes for ‘no vaccine, no classes’

National Parents Teachers Association – Philippines push for ‘no vaccine, no classes’ policy.

Parents teachers group push for 'no vaccine, no classes'
There are about 22 million public and 5 million private school learners who are about to go back to school in August. (Image from World Vision Philippines)

Some groups have urged the Department of Education to cancel the class for the next instead of opening on August 24, until there is no vaccine or mass testing available to address the coronavirus crisis.

According to the National Parents Teachers Association – Philippines, this is because experts have previously said that the COVID-19 crisis cannot be addressed without a vaccine.

“Around 99 percent ayaw na mag-open ng class this August 24 kasi nga takot. No vaccine, no classes,” said Rodriguez. 

(Around 99 percent does not want to open classes this August 24 because of fear. No vaccine, no classes.)

“Definitely I will not gamble the lives of my 7 children, including myself, sending them physically to school,” said Ike Vega, President ng NPTA- Philippines Olongapo Zambales chapter. 

The Department of Education has approved the implementation of “blended” or “distant” learning methods for next year.

Also read: Deped seemed unprepared for August opening of classes

No vaccine, no classes

But some parents worry that students or some of them may find it challenging to catch up or follow the class procedure.

“Di lahat ng mga magulang capable na magturo. There are parents na ‘di makapagbasa,” said Michael Malana, President of NPTA in Metro Manila. 

(Not all parents could teach. Some parents cannot read.)

Some have even suggested not to enroll earlier this year and conduct tutoring sessions for their children instead. 

“Nag-usap kami na di kami mag-e-enroll sa mga school… Ang gagawin ko ay bibili ng mga books at magpapa-tutor, wala namang problem,” said Jennifer Rosario, member of NPTA. 

(We talked that we will not enroll in schools. I will just buy books and have a tutorial, no problem.)

Rosie Hosana is also one of those who decided not to send the children to school for the coming school year.

Despite some parents’ fears, some public schools are slowly adjusting their facilities once become available. 

For the Alliance of Concerned Teachers group, it is not possible to open a class without mass testing to determine if students, teachers, or anyone in the school have a coronavirus.

But at the congressional hearing in the Chamber, the DepEd insisted that safety was still their primary concern. Face-to-face classes remain suspended and will be held in areas with clearance from the Department of Health.