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Teachers want school opening delayed further

The premature opening of classes might result to a big crisis if pushed through without conducting COVID-19 testing for students and teachers.

Neil Alcober

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A teachers’ group on Wednesday asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to reconsider its decision to start classes on 24 August as the country continues to grapple with the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) renewed its call, saying that the health and safety of students, teachers and other school personnel should be given primary consideration on the opening of classes.

“Another thing is the capability of the system which includes students and their family in the distant learning modes being pushed by Department of Education,” TDC national chairman Benjo Basas said.

He added that the premature opening of classes might result to a “big crisis” if pushed through without conducting COVID-19 testing for students and teachers.

“Others methods, aside from face-to-face learning, would result in discrimination to a large number of students — particularly those who are living in the far-flung communities and poor families,” Basas said.

“In this situation, we reiterate our call to the DepEd management to consider its earlier decision. It will be a big help if DepEd and the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) would conduct wide consultation with the parents and teachers on this matter… if they would hear their suggestions and opinions,” he added.

The group also said that the conduct of mass testing prior to the opening of classes could not be effective as teachers and students could be tested negative for the virus but become positive in the next few days.

“If there are classes, students and teachers might have a lot of interactions at schools, at jeepneys and buses and other forms of public transport system, at their house or the community wherein they could transmit the deadly virus,” Basas said.

with Alvin Murcia
@tribunephl_alvi

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