By J. Jala | 01:43 PM December 27, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday announced that he is recalling his approval of the education sector’s proposal to conduct face-to-face classes pilot implementation due to the threat of the new Covid-19 strain believed to be more infectious.

“I have allowed kasi the face-to-face classes as a pilot project all over the country. With the new strain, true or not, maybe its true because it’s being validated by Germany, South Africa, UK eh iyong order ko noon kay (Education Secretary Leonor) Briones, I’m calling back the order,” Duterte said in a meeting with Cabinet officials and infectious disease experts.

“I will not allow face-to-face classes for children until we are through with this,” he added.

The pilot implementation was supposed to be conducted in areas deemed low-risk to coronavirus infection from Jan. 11 to 23.

Classes resumed nationwide on Oct. 5 with schools utilizing distance learning modality— a combination of online and modular learning—as campuses stay closed and physical classes remain suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On December 14, Duterte gave his nod to the proposed conduct of a dry run of face-to-face classes in select schools in areas that will be considered at low risk for Covid-19.

In a statement sent to Palace reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Briones would heed Duterte’s fresh directive.

“On her part, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones will implement the President’s instruction to recall limited face-to-face classes,” Roque said.

The DepEd was supposed to start the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in areas categorized as low-risk areas under modified general community quarantine in January next year.

Before Duterte’s latest order, the DepEd planned to make the participation of learners in the pilot study to be voluntary with the requisite permit issued by the parents.

The proposed face-to-face classes will also not be held for the full week schedule and with reduced class size to observe proper physical distancing within the classroom.

The new coronavirus strain was first detected in the United Kingdom. With reports from PNA and Inquirer

By Bohol Island News

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