The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) asked the Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday to reconsider the Aug. 24 opening of classes as it highlighted the risks posed by the coronavirus crisis.
TDC chairperson Benjo Basas warned that pushing through with the Aug. 24 opening of classes might lead to a bigger crisis given that expanded testing for COVID-19 has just started.
“Mas malaking krisis ang kakaharapin kung itutuloy ang pagpasok sa Agosto 24 lalo pa’t ngayon pa lamang halos tayo nagsisimula sa isinasagawang COVID-19 testing at ang situwasyong ito ay marahil umabot hanggang Agosto,” Basas said in a statement.
(We might face a bigger crisis if we continue with the school opening on August 24 given that we have just started COVID-19 testing and this may last until August.)
DepEd moved the opening of classes to August in adherence to Republic Act No. 7977 which allows classes to take place “not later than the last day of August.” The government initially recommended that classes start in September.
Students will not be required to physically report to schools, DepEd said, noting that it would implement a “blended” learning scheme that involves the use of online learning, the use of media like television and radio, and other offline methods.
Schools are free to decide on which learning delivery modes they will implement in consideration of the prevailing health situation in the locality.
The TDC however expressed apprehensions over using alternative learning delivery modes, warning that it would cause “discrimination” against a large number of students—especially those from poor families, and far-flung areas.