BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is pushing for face-to-face classes in local government units that have zero-Covid cases.
Citing the case of Valladolid town, which has zero Covid-19 case, Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said Saturday that there is a possibility of holding face-to-face classes, using scientific approaches.
The best way to reach out and teach them is to go back to normal,” Gatchalian, who led the groundbreaking rites of the Central Philippines State University-Valladolid Technical Vocational Institution (TVI) and proposed extension class in Brgy. Bagumbayan, Valladolid, said.
Gatchalian said the majority of the teaching staff and parents are having a hard time with the present distance learning being implemented, with a lot of students also unable to go online due to different limitations.
While he admitted that there are reservations from parents on face-to-face classes, there is a need to study it thoroughly, Gatchalian said, as he reiterated his support to the whole concept.
Face to face classes may also be allowed in islands not frequented by people, he added. But in the case of Bacolod City, or Valenzuela City, face to face classes should not be allowed because of heavily populated areas and crowded classrooms.
Gatchalian said the Department of Education and the National Inter-Agency Task Force should look into the findings of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention on face-to-face classes.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier scrapped the proposed trial of face-to-facer classes due to concerns over the spread of Covid-19.
Gatchalian said the DepEd should consider allowing students to come to school in batches, or at least allow classrooms to operate in a 50 percent capacity. “They can come up with a system where students can come to school two times a week, so that 50 percent can be accommodated,” he added in a radio interview. “We need to experiment, because we’ve never done this before in history. We can experiment and conduct face-to-face classes slowly.”*