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Resuming face-to-face classes right choice â Locsin
“Ma’am Sec Briones, you were right all along. We gotta reopen face to face classes for the kids,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweeted.
Freeman/File

Resuming face-to-face classes right choice — Locsin

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - February 16, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Education Secretary Leonor Briones was right to reopen face-to-face classes as online learning has not addressed all the needs of students, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said yesterday.

“Ma’am Sec Briones, you were right all along. We gotta reopen face to face classes for the kids,” Locsin tweeted.

He cited a New York Times report where 175 experts – mostly pediatricians focused on public health – largely agreed that it was now safe enough for schools to be open to elementary students for full-time and in-person instruction.

A United Nations (UN) representative, whom Locsin did not identify, also said forbidding face-to-face instruction may be a violation of human rights. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) likewise said children cannot afford another year of school disruption as the cost of closing schools due to COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating.

In December, President Duterte suspended the pilot face-to-face classes in January 2021 amid mounting concerns over a new strain of coronavirus which experts fear to be more contagious.

Feeding program continues

Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) has continued the implementation of the P5.97-billion School-Based Feeding Program for public school children, despite the closure of public schools to face-to-face classes.

“Due to deferment of face-to-face classes, most of the schools directly distributed the food and milk items to the homes of the beneficiaries,” Education undersecretary for administration Alain Del Pascua said.

About 3,517,807 kindergarten to Grade 6 pupils from 34,771 schools nationwide were given nutritious food under the Nutritious Food Products component, while 3,136,951 pupils from 33,732 schools were provided with milk.

The feeding program was done in compliance with RA 11037 or the “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act” signed by President Duterte on June 20, 2018.

DepEd worked with the Philippine Carabao Center and the National Dairy Authority, along with various cooperatives and small and medium enterprise producers, for the supply of nutritious food products. – Rainier Allan Ronda

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