Duterte rejects face-to-face classes
President Rodrigo Duterte has rejected anew to hold face-to-face classes as he is concerned on the safety of students and teachers while there is no vaccine yet against coronavirus disease.
In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte called him up on Sunday night to relay to him of his decision.
"The President has decided, there's no face-to-face classes yet in the country. The President called last night and said that he did not want to put in danger or at risk the lives of our students and teachers while no one has been vaccinated yet here in the country," he said.
He said Duterte expressed hope that after the launching of the COVID-19 immunization program, face-to-face classes could push through in August, particularly in places with low COVID-19 cases.
The government has yet to launch the COVID-19 inoculation program since no coronavirus vaccine has arrived.
Roque said Duterte's decision against classroom classes is "without prejudice to any proposal that the Commission on Higher Education may have."
He noted that the government has allowed face-to-face classes for medical and allied medical degrees.
"It is also without prejudice to the Secretary of Education submitting all relevant information that they gathered preparatory to their move to reopen discussion on the holding of pilot face-to-face classes," he said.
He cited the recent statement of Education Secretary Leonor Briones about the DepEd survey among at least one million respondents, which showed overwhelming sentiment of the learners themselves to resume face-to-face classes.
He said Briones may present the survey during the Cabinet meeting with the President on Monday.
Last December, Duterte also deferred the holding of pilot face-to-face classes in COVID-19 low risk areas. This was due to new COVID-19 variant in the country. Celerina Monte/DMS