Duterte permits low-risk areas to implement physical classes

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MANILA, Philippines (July 21) – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the Department of Education’s request to implement physical classes in low-risk areas. The said areas are those that have low transmission rates as observed during the quarantine period.

The president convene with the officials in the COVID-19 task force last Monday night. During the said meeting Education Secretary Leonor Briones presented the pros and cons of the idea. She discussed provisions on health protocols that they will implement.

“I am with you on this,” the president told Briones. Malacanang aired the said meeting Tuesday morning.

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The president stated that people should try doing productive things amid constricted times.

“Okay ako [I am okay with this],” Duterte said.

Previously, the president opposed talks on such an idea. He stressed that that he will only allow such a suggestion if there is already a vaccine.

The said physical classes are only slated to start on January 2021. However,private school who have chosen to start school last June may continue to do so.

LGU’s, international school request to implement physical classes

Local executives and international schools have requested for limited face-to-face classes. Meanwhile, the option to report to school is not required. The said form of learning will remain optional for parents.

Even with the approval of face-to-face classes, teachers will still carry out alternative forms of learning.

Briones also cited studies that children are not as vulnerable to the virus as adults.

“Children are not as badly affected by the COVID phenomenon as compared to adults,” she said.

However, she cited that they will still ensure the implementation of health protocols.

She also announced that DepEd will conduct inspection of schools under modified community quarantine status.

The education chief said that these schools should have running water for hand-washing. More so, she added that public schools will have an easier time adapting.

This is due to the ventilation system prevalent in most state-run secondary education schools. In these institutions, air conditioning units are not available.

She added that they will also put restriction on the limit of students allowed per class.

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