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Proposed Senate resolution bats for resumption of face-to-face classes

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Saturday that he is rallying his colleagues to adopt his proposed resolution seeking to reopen the schools for in-person classes so that the country's educational system could catch up with our Asian neighbors.

In filing the proposed SR No. 663 (PSRN 663), Sotto insisted “there is no substitute to face-to-face classes, which is probably the best way to arrest the decline in (education) quality” in the country.

Likewise, he raised concerns about the country's education that is now lagging behind our Asian neighbors.

“There are deep concerns that while countries whose students had performed well in the past international assessments are already back on track, the Philippines is still lagging behind using the blended learning method, which to many is not an effective means due to lack of access to internet and gadgets by majority of pupils and students,” Sotto said in a statement.

He also noted that the Philippines has remained one of the 14 out of 150 countries worldwide, and the lone country in South East Asia that has kept its schools closed.

Sotto is recommending the immediate reopening of schools and the resumption of face-to-face classes in areas where there are few or zero COVID-19 cases.

He said, local school boards -- namely the Provincial School Board, the City School Board, and the Municipal School Board -- will be authorized to assess and recommend whether to reopen or lockdown schools and allow physical classes to resume in their respective jurisdictions.

Government data shows there are approximately 433 cities and municipalities throughout the country that do not have any COVID-19 cases, he pointed out.

On the other hand, the Department of Education had said that more than 1,000 schools nationwide are ready for face-to-face classes.

“I am fully aware that the threat of COVID-19 remains high, there are also reports that the virus is mutating and more variants are being discovered. But we cannot sacrifice the future of our youth. Our fears should not make us paranoid to the point of making us blind to how grim the future would be if our children do not get quality education,” Sotto said. —LBG, GMA News