Parents, teachers back face-to-face classes

By Mar S. Arguelles


Parents, teachers, and learners have welcomed President Duterte’s directive to allow face-to-face (F2F) or in-house classes in selected public elementary and high schools in rural areas with low risk for Covid-19.


Mark Kevin Arroco, Department of Education (Deped) development project officer, said President Duterte has given the green light for a two-month pilot testing for the F2F classes for elementary and high school students.


He said the two-months pilot testing once successful would be implemented for another two months, but the pilot testing would be suspended once health concern arises.


Francisco Rayala of Barangay Barayong, Ligao City, a parent, in an interview said “Between face-to-face classes and the distant learning, I wish the former would be adopted this school year simply because there is a sort of interaction between the children and teachers.


“Face-to-face would be a favorable system, As long as there are procedures that assure the safety of students is taken,” Rayala said.


He said that the distance learning approach may be safer during this pandemic but this has its disadvantage because students are receiving formal instruction from the teachers, which is not conducive to learning.


Students who cannot quite grasp the lesson would resort to copying other students’ answers or ask others to do it for them for a price.


Lilibeth Olaño, who teaches technical, vocational, livelihood strands for Grade 11 and 12 at the Pilar National High school in Sorsogon, in a phone interview, said “face-to-face learning ensures a better understanding and recollection of lesson content and gives students a chance to bond with one another wherein teaching style can be modified according to the student’s issues.


Under the distant blended and modular system teachers have more paperwork to prepare and accomplish while for students, there’s no assurance that they have learned what was in the module, as those students who find difficulty in answering the modules, tend to let their parents do their homework or thru the internet, copy and paste the answer of their classmates.


Hermes Miraflor of Daraga town in Albay, said “as a parent, I prefer students to be under the guidance of school administration for their education. With the present set-up under distance learning, it’s very disadvantageous to parents as well as to students.”


A Grade 11 student in Daraga National High School said “As an introvert, I prefer distance learning because it’s difficult for me to interact with other people. That’s why I only have few friends. Especially now that I’ve been used to this kind of school set-up. Fortunately, I’m grateful because I have the privilege to attend school even with this new set-up.”


Earlier, the DepEd in Bicol announced that it has submitted a list of 305 public schools in Bicol as pilot areas for the In-House or Face-to-Face classes in rural areas considered as low-risk areas for Covid-19.


Gilbert Sadsad, DepEd Bicol regional director, said they have already conducted surveys since January mapping out schools that would qualify as pilot areas where face-to-face classes would be implemented.


He said that under the guidelines a minimum of 12 to a maximum of 20 learners would be accommodated in a classroom with a plastic partition or health barriers.


The learners live near the selected pilot schools so the children do not need to travel and since daily classes would be on a half-day session, they would not be allowed to take their lunch in the school, the measure would prevent pupils to socialize during the break.


At the schools, there would be one entrance and one exit passages where alcohol sanitizers are available.


While teachers and learners would see to it that the Minimum Health Protocols (MHP) would be strictly followed such as wearing face masks, physical distancing, and avoid mass gatherings.