Pilot face-to-face classes possible soon — Palace

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Pilot face-to-face classes possible soon â Palace
FILE - In this March 9, 2020 photo, school workers disinfect a classroom amid the novel coronavirus threat in the country.
The STAR / Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — It may not take long before pilot face-to-face classes are held because of the rising number of individuals who got vaccinated for COVID-19, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said while President Rodrigo Duterte rejected the holding of in-person classes because of the emergence of more transmissible COVID-19 variants, the set-up would "not be the same forever."

He noted that the Philippines has administered close to 12 million vaccine doses while some Metro Manila cities have given the first dose to 70 percent of their population.

"The president said he wanted our people to be vaccinated. As to how many, we are not yet sure," Roque said at a press briefing.

"But with 12 million of our people being vaccinated and with... some cities of Metro Manila hitting 70, even 100 percent of their population being given the first dose, let's say that it won't take long and it may be possible for us to have a pilot. Let's just wait for the vaccines to be administered," he added.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the president decided against the holding of pilot in-person classes because the characteristics of the new COVID-19 variant are "very threatening."

Asked if the president is looking at specific numbers, Briones replied: "It's hard to say I want 50 percent or 90 percent or 80 percent. Those who will be excluded will be at a disadvantage. That's why our proposal is to have a small pilot study so we can see how effective our health protocols are."

"But what's really scary is the new varant is unpredictable and this is being studied thoroughly. I cannot speak for the president but that is his only condition - the safety of children and teachers involved in our educational program," she added.

Duterte previously said he could not place the health of students at risk while the Philippines is still addressing the more transmissible COVID-19 variants.

"I ask for forgiveness from mothers, fathers because the education of children would be delayed. Forgive me because I cannot give permission to bring back the normal set-up in schools because if something happens, it would involve lives," the president said during a public address last June 28.

"But I cannot gamble, I said, with the life of our children. It will be difficult because everyone will be liable," he added.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 13, 2021 - 12:18pm

Follow this thread for updates on when classes will resume, and how those classes will be conducted.

Photo: Students wearing protective face masks have their temperatures taken while entering their college campus in Manila on January 31, 2020. AFP/Ted Aljibe

September 13, 2021 - 12:18pm

Classrooms in the Philippines were silent Monday as millions of school children hunkered down at home for a second year of remote lessons that experts fear will worsen an educational "crisis".

While nearly every country in the world has partially or fully reopened schools to in-person classes, the Philippines has kept them closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the UN says.

President Rodrigo Duterte has so far rejected proposals for a pilot reopening of primary and secondary schools for fear children could catch COVID-19 and infect elderly relatives. 

"I want to go to school," seven-year-old Kylie Larrobis told AFP, complaining she cannot read after a year of online kindergarten in the tiny slum apartment in Manila she shares with six people.  

"I don't know what a classroom looks like — I've never seen one." 

Larrobis, who enters first grade this year, cries in frustration when she cannot understand her online lessons, which she follows on a smartphone, said her mother, Jessielyn Genel. 

Her misery is compounded by a ban on children playing outdoors. — AFP

March 22, 2021 - 3:13pm

The Department of Education (DepEd) Benguet has identified at least 17 schools for the pilot testing of face-to-face classes for the fourth quarter of the year.

DepEd Benguet Schools Division Superintendent (SDS) Gloria Buya-ao confirmed the testing of the limited face to face classes.  She identified Lanipew Elementary School and Tacadang Integrated School in Kibungan; Naguey Elementary School in Atok; Kayapa Elementary School in the boundary of Benguet and Nueva Viscaya; Otbong Elementary School in Bokod;  Amgaleyguey Elementary School in Buguias; Tonglo-Carino Elementary School also in Buguias; and Oyusan and Ja’pa Elementary School in Atok.

Other schools identified were Beckes Pol-oc Primary School;  Beckes Pol-oc Primary School, Busoc Primary School, Mario laruan elementary school and Pasdong Elementary School in Atok;  Gadang Elementary School in Kapangan; Baayan Elementary School and Bilis Elementary school in Tublay. — AFP

December 26, 2020 - 6:24pm

President Rodrigo Duterte announces that face-to-face classes in certain areas are cancelled due to reports of a new coronavirus strain.

November 30, 2020 - 3:01pm

International students have arrived in Australia for the first time since the country shut its borders to curb coronavirus in March, with a charter flight touching down in Darwin on Monday.

Australian universities have been leaking cash due to the country's indefinite border closure, which has locked out foreign students who keep the billion-dollar sector afloat.

A plane chartered by Charles Darwin University (CDU) carrying 63 international students arrived in the northern city of Darwin as part of a pilot programme aimed at kickstarting the higher education industry.

The students — from mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia — travelled to Singapore to catch the flight and will now spend 14 days in a government quarantine facility.

The mix of new and continuing students are enrolled across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses including law, nursing and engineering. — AFP

November 26, 2020 - 12:07pm

The University of the Philippines will implement a 'no-fail' policy for the current semester, the Office of the Student Regent announces.

The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will release guidelines for the policy, where no grades of "4" (Conditional)  or "5" (Fail) will be given.


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