Press Release
May 4, 2021

Bong Go says health and safety of students and teachers must be carefully taken into consideration in deciding when to resume face-to-face classes

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go believes that the health and safety of students, teachers and non-teaching personnel in schools must be carefully taken into consideration in making a decision as to when face-to-face classes must be resumed.

While recognizing the challenges still being faced by particularly poor students under the blended learning set-up and arguably better instruction offered by the traditional face-to-face classes, the Senator explained that the safety of everyone in school remains the primordial interest.

Last year, Go also appealed to education authorities as well as those in government media outlets to utilize various approaches and tools in order to lessen the burden of specially poorer students who cannot afford to buy computer gadgets and those residing in remote places without or limited internet connectivity as online class is one of the options taken by a significant number of students under the blended learning set-up.

"'Di pa naman sigurado 'yan opening of classes dahil for approval pa po 'yan ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases)," said Go in an ambush interview after attending the launchings of the 104th Malasakit Center at the Leyte Provincial Hospital and the 105th at the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital both in Palo, Leyte.

"Ako naman po, 'wag po tayo masyadong magmadali. Bigyan natin ng konting espasyo ang ating mga guro dahil mahirap po sa panahong ito 'pag meron pong nagpositibo na isang guro o estudyante ay mahihirapan na naman tayo sa contact tracing dahil naka-focus ngayon sa pagbabakuna," he added.

The Senator, then, went on to say that he is not in favor of the conduct of face-to-face classes until herd immunity is achieved through vaccination.

"So, iwasan po natin na may magkahawaan. Bigyan muna natin ng konting space ang mga guro na makapagpahinga o makapag-adjust muna dahil alam nating hirap na hirap sila sa pag-aadjust sa ating new learning system," Go urged.

"Ako naman po, 'di rin ako sasang-ayon sa face-to-face classes hanggat 'di nababakunahan ang majority ng population. Alam naman natin na may new strain ng virus... So, unahin natin ang kalusugan ng bawat bata, bawat Pilipino before anything else," he added.

The Department of Education plans to start the next school year on August 23, which will shorten the break of students to six weeks from the usual two months. DepEd also said that they are preparing an "ideal scenario" next school year where physical classes will complement remote learning in low risk areas.

Earlier, the Senator stressed the importance of ensuring the health and safety of the students, teachers and wider community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the nation.

Go, however, agreed that the education of the students cannot be put on a standstill. He urged DepEd and other concerned authorities to exert all efforts possible in improving further the blended learning system while face-to-face classes remain prohibited.

"Kawawa naman po mga bata, napi-pressure po 'yung bata, malaking epekto po iyon sa kanila. Ang importante po, walang masayang na taon. Ang importante po matuto sila," reminded Go.

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