Expand limited face-to-face classes on March
Lawmakers expressed their concern that the 120 schools for the pilot run are just a small fraction of some 60,000 public and private schools in the country.
“Based on DepEd timeline, the time we will expand is on March 7 next year which is almost six months already. We’re only looking at 59 schools now. We have 60,000 schools. Of which 47,000 are public schools,” said Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the basic education committee.
Based on the DepEd timeline, officials will expand limited face-to-face classes on March 7 based on the assessment of the pilot run. The DepEd will identify and prepare more schools for limited face-to-face classes only in February.
“Batay sa timeline ng DepEd, palalawakin ang ang mga limited face-to-face classes sa Marso 7 batay sa pagtatasa ng pilot run. Ihahanda ng DepEd ang higit pang mga paaralan para sa limited face-to-face classes lamang sa Pebrero.”
“Bakit sa February pa ang preparation ng expansion schools? Hindi ba ito dapat continuing process? When we go back after the Christmas, hindi ba mas maganda na marami na tayo mabubuksan?” Senator Nancy Binay asked.
In response, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said that the timeline was crafted because they need the assistance of the Department of Health (DOH) in identifying the areas that are low or minimal risk for COVID-19.
“If it were for the education matters, your honors, certainly, we know the necessity of expanding as quickly as we can but we have to balance it with public health considerations,” Malaluan said.
In response, Gatchalian said: “We feel that the timetable is too long. We have to prepare to expand in areas where we can expand it.”