Governors across the country are pushing for the resumption of face-to-face classes but only for colleges and universities amid COVID-19 pandemic.
League of Provinces of the Philippines president Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco Jr. said limiting face-to-face classes to college and university students will ensure that social distancing and other necessary health protocols are observed.
“It becomes dangerous if we include kids because they are difficult to control. But students enrolled in higher education institutions, they know better, so face-to-face classes can be allowed,” Velasco said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier thumbed down proposals to resume face-to-face classes, saying this can be done by August.
“The President said he doesn’t want to put the lives of students and teachers in peril while we still don’t have the vaccines,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
The National Economic Development Authority earlier proposed the pilot-testing of face-to-face classes, which was earlier approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
The Commission on Higher Education allows face-to-face classes only for students of medicine and allied health
sciences in areas under General Community Quarantine, as well as in universities in areas under Modified GCQ.
Meanwhile, Velasco said the President’s decision to defer the shift to MGCQ for the entire country until the vaccination program starts was “the safest measure” but it was also “super cautious.”
“That (postponement of MGCQ shift) is correct. It is the safest, but it is also super cautious. We need jumpstart our economic recovery,” he said.
Velasco said placing the entire country under MGCQ is sustainable for as long as local governments are allowed to impose snap lockdowns as necessary.