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Escudero hopes DU30 to OK limited face-face classes

By Mar S. Arguelles

Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Sunday, Aug. 29, said he is hopeful that President Duterte would finally approve the joint recommendation of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Managing of Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow the pilot of limited face-to-face classes.

“I am thankful that DepEd and IATF are recommending pilot face-to-face classes. I hope PRRD will favorably consider their suggestion,” Escudero said in a statement.

Citing a statement during a Laging Handa briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the holding of face-to-face classes in areas where Covid-19 cases are low is awaiting the President’s decision in time for the school opening on Sept. 13.

The former senator, on numerous occasions, has been pushing for limited face-to-face classes in areas where there are low Covid-19 cases such as some places in his home province. These areas, he said, are feasible while ensuring the safety of teachers and students through strict health and safety protocols.

“In Sorsogon, 55 percent of our barangay have been Covid-free since the start of the pandemic. So sana naman ay makasama kami sa mga papayagan makapag-limited face-to- face classes,” he said.

Recently, Escudero also shared with several vloggers another reason why he is for limited face-to-face classes: the mental health and social development of the children.

He said that based on a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund or Unicef, the Philippines is among the only five countries in the world that have not resumed face-to-face classes since the pandemic was declared last year. The other countries were Bangladesh, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

Unicef identified the associated consequences of school closures such as learning loss, mental distress, missed vaccinations and heightened risk of dropout, child labor, and child marriage.

“I’m worried about children. For example, I worry about their social skills, even with my children. Buong araw nasa iPad, nasa kwarto nagkaklase... How can they have the social skills to handle the daily problems of life? Pag graduate nyo at makahanap kayo ng trabaho, hindi nyo alam paano makitungo sa opisina,” he said.


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