VARIOUS quarters support the view that if the country’s public schools are allowed to open as scheduled, the government ought to ensure the health, safety and welfare of students and teachers.
People realize it must be exasperating for those pushing for the opening of classes on August 24 to be told that the date may be “too soon” considering the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Note that several members of the Upper House of Congress, including Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, are in favor of suspending the opening of classes for school year 2020-21 beyond August.
“I think August 24 may be too soon to open schools and that it can be pushed back a few weeks or months,” according to Angara, a son of the late Senate President Edgardo Angara.
Note that President Duterte had earlier announced that there will be no classes unless there’s already a vaccine for COVID-19, which continues to claim the lives of people across the globe.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, on the other hand, stressed that the safety of children should be prioritized.
“I cannot imagine risking the life and health of our children. We have to postpone the opening of classes as we think of alternative infrastructures for home-based learning,” said Hontiveros.
She said “sa tingin ko, sa ngayon ay hindi pa handa ang Department of Education (DepEd) dito,” adding “we should use this time to prepare and innovate on alternative modes of learning.”
For his part, Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon insisted that the health and welfare of the students should be of primordial consideration” in deciding when to open the school year.
In our view, the safety of our students, teachers and other school personnel is a real problem while there’s this COVID-19 pandemic.