The Philippines’ COVID-19 task force will study the proposal to postpone the opening of classes in elementary and secondary schools, a Malacañang official said Friday.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will look into the proposal even as he raised the possible impact of postponement on students’ learning.
“We’ll talk about it some more sa IATF meeting po natin,” Nograles, co-chairperson of the IATF, told CNN Philippines in an interview.
“If we delay it some more, siyempre ang iniiwasan po natin na magiging dehado or behind ang ating mga public elementary and public high school students. It might be more challenging siyempre from an educational point of view to catch up with the private schools.”
Nograles also said a delay might also affect the implementation of the feeding program to address undernourishment among children.
“That has to start soon because siyempre ‘yung nutritional intake and food intake ng mga bata na mga undernourished or those who are wasted or severely wasted or stunted children is something we cannot delay also,” he added.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go urged the executive branch to move the school opening to October to give more time for the preparation for distance learning and ensure the safety of the stakeholders.
Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Francis Tolentino suggested delaying the start of classes in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine.
But Education Secretary Leonor Briones insisted on Thursday that the opening of classes will be on August 24.
In the absence of face-to-face classes amid the pandemic, learners will be using television, radio, internet, and self-learning modules for studying. —LBG, GMA News