Church backs scrapping of face-to-face classes

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - December 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has expressed support for the decision of President Duterte to scrap the pilot run of face-to-face classes next year due to a new variant of COVID-19.

Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, head of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, said the safety of students should be a matter of priority over education.

“The safety, especially of human lives, is a very important and non-negotiable principle. Whatever move, if it seeks the safety and well-being of the people, citizens – especially the vulnerable – should be supported,” Alarcon said.

“Education, and all other human endeavors must seek the safety and well-being of all. Adjustments, resumption of any modality and new interventions must seek the safety of children and the young,” he added.

Alarcon said the news that a new strain of COVID-19 virus has been spreading in the United Kingdom came during the Christmas season, which signifies the importance of life.

“Christmas is about human life and God becoming man. It is God affirming the value of each life. Life is a gift, the protection of lives must be sought and supported,” he said.

During a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Saturday night, Duterte announced they are cancelling plans to allow face-to-face classes due to uncertainties brought by the new strain COVID-19 virus.

The President approved on Dec. 14 the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes next month in areas identified as low risk for COVID-19.

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