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PILOT TESTING OF FACE-TO-FACE CLASSES URGED

An education advocacy group has joined the call to conduct the pilot testing of face-to-face classes especially in low-risk areas in the country.

“We hope that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte will decide in favor of finally conducting pilot in-person classes in low-risk areas,” Philippine Educators Alliance for Community Empowerment (PEACE) Party-list president Marie Paz T. Abante said. 

The conduct of face-to-face classes would be guided by best practices and in close collaboration with learning and public health experts.

The IATF recently revealed that it was preparing a presentation to help the president decide on the proposal to conduct face-to-face classes.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the IATF may include a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report that revealed the negative impact of the continued closure of schools on children.

The UNICEF said that school closures lead to learning loss, mental distress, missed vaccinations and heightened risk of dropout.

The Philippines is among the five remaining countries that have not resumed face-to-face classes.

“We have to acknowledge that we are far from achieving normalcy. The question is whether we just resign ourselves to this fact or if we address the issue head-on and try to introduce some work-arounds,” Abante said.

The IATF recently revealed that it was preparing a presentation to help the president decide on the proposal to conduct face-to-face classes.

The long-time educator dispelled fears that children would be used as “guinea pigs” in the pilot testing.

“Hindi naman po tayo basta huhugot sa hangin sa pag-implementa ng pilot testing,” Abante said.

The conduct of face-to-face classes would be guided by best practices and in close collaboration with learning and public health experts, she said.

“Covid will remain in the horizon in the immediate future. Kailangan natin mag-adjust. I believe we can arrest the disruption in the development of our children by working on resuming face-to-face classes through pilot testing and through aggressive and urgent vaccination as soon as the supply allows,” Abante added. 

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