THE news on the approved pilot implementation of the voluntary and limited face-to-face classes in select schools in Central Visayas and other parts of the country by January 2021 has drawn reactions from parents.
Marifiel Baldo, 40, a resident of Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, said she will allow her two children who are in high school to join the face-to-face classes only if the school and the local government can assure that it is compliant with the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.
Shesaid she was hesitant about allowing her younger child, who is in elementary school, because the child is not yet as cautious as the two older ones.
Baldo said she would rather continue with the modular lesson for the elementary students, especially that her child’s teacher is dedicated and accommodating with the current educational set-up.
On Monday night, Dec. 14, 2020, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte has approved limited face-to-face classes in select schools in the country.
Salustiano Jimenez, Department of Education (DepEd) 7 director, also said in Central Visayas, 12 out of 19 schools divisions will be part of the pilot implementation.
The region’s list includes the local school divisions of Cebu Province, Lapu-Lapu City, Carcar City, Bogo City, Tagbilaran City and the provinces of Siquijor and Bohol, among others.
Jackie Rollorata from Candijay, Bohol, said it is a tough decision to make for parents like her, especially that her two children already miss having face-to-face classes.
But she prioritizes their health and safety, she added.
Several netizens also commented on the SunStar Cebu’s post on Facebook about this development.
Hannah Mae Sibul commented: “We are already getting accustomed with online learning and the school is doing it pretty well that’s making it easier for everyone.”
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Department of Health (DOH) 7, in a text message sent to SunStar Cebu, said the approval of the face-to-face classes was most likely based on the low number of cases present in the locality where the schools are located.
“We are also of the mind that the educators and the leaders will ensure that the students and teachers will be safe,” she said.
She said the fear will always be there, but parents can help if they, too, shall help educate their children on the adherence to the health standards.
Jimenez said schools that would like to be part of the pilot implementation must submit the following documents to the DepEd: a PTA resolution allowing face-to-face classes, a resolution from the local government unit concerned (barangay, municipal, city or provincial). These requirements have to be submitted not later than Dec. 23 so that the regional office can validate them, he said.
Moreover, he said, the Divisions also have to submit a certification from the school principal concerned declaring that they are compliant with the health and safety protocols prescribed by the DOH and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
These include providing health and safety equipment in the school such as hand washing facilities, face shields and masks for school personnel. (WBS)