Senator Sonny Angara said today that any plan to resume face-to-face learning should be done with extreme caution since the risk of contracting COVID-19 still exists in the country.
Angara said he also wants to see children back learning in school, which he said would ease a lot of stress and pressure off both the students and their parents who have been forced to cope with blended learning due to the pandemic.
But before any plan to resume face-to-face classes is rolled out, Angara said that it would be best to conduct a pilot implementation of this first to see how this will work.
“Gusto natin maibalik ang face-to-face classes pero be that as it may nagsalita na din si Presidente na bastat walang bakuna ayaw niya mag upisa ng face-to-face classes nationwide,” Angara said.
“Kung sakali, bago tayo mag umpisa tayo ng nationwide rollout ng face-to-face classes, pumili tayo ng isa o dalawang probinsya muna para sa pilot testing,” Angara added.
In selecting the areas that will be part of the pilot program, Angara said that the primary consideration should be those with very few or zero cases of COVID-19.
Angara said the pilot areas should also have strong health systems that would be able to handle possible outbreaks.
“Kailangan ang lugar na yun ay walang masyadong kaso at handa ang kanyang health system kung sakaling magkaroon ng super spreader event,” Angara said.
A COVID-19 survivor himself, Angara noted that there are reported cases in other countries of face-to-face classes serving as super spreader events.
Children would be together in an indoor setting and would unavoidably have close interactions with each other so a handful of infected students could easily spread the virus to other children and they in turn could infect other persons in their homes and their communities.
Angara said the local government units that will be part of the pilot testing should have health facilities such as hospitals that are capable of handling a large number of cases—from isolation to treatment.
“Kung i-rollout ng DepEd itong face-to-face classes ay maingat at limitado talaga, under very controlled conditions muna,” Angara said.