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OVP: Efficient home schooling system a must amid COVID-19 pandemic

There should be an efficient home schooling system in place for students amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo said Tuesday.

Lawyer Ibarra Gutierrez, spokesperson for Vice President Robredo, issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte said that classes should remain suspended until a vaccine against COVID-19 becomes available.

Specifically, the President’s comments went “I will not allow the opening of classes na magdikit-dikit ‘yang mga bata. Bahala nang hindi na makatapos. Wala nang aral, laro na lang unless I am sure that they are really safe. It’s useless to be talking about the opening of classes. Para sa akin, bakuna muna.”

“We appreciate the President's concern for the health and safety of our children. We hope, however, that if the schools are to remain closed, sufficient steps will be taken to ensure that every Filipino student will still get the education he or she is entitled to,” Gutierrez said.

“Inclusive and effective systems for at home schooling must be put in place,” he added.

Under the law, the latest that the academic year can start is within August.

The Department of Education already announced that the opening of class will commence on August 24.

The August 24 opening of classes, however, would not mean students returning physically to schools since the new normal under the pandemic would mean implementation of face-to-face learning combined with online classes and homeschooling methods.

On Tuesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also said that the opening of classes come August 24 is feasible with the combined learning strategy and provided that the schools comply with minimum health standards.

Social distancing and the ban on mass gatherings have been a requirement since COVID-19 is transmitted via respiratory droplet.

The Philippines has recorded 14,319 COVID-19 cases thus far. Of this number, 3,323 recovered while 873 have died. — Llanesca T. Panti/BM, GMA News