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MNS Photo

MANILA, Apr 30 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang on Thursday raised the possibility that the pilot implementation of face-to-face (F2F) classes might be conducted in August this year.

This, after National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the country is expecting to secure a steady supply of vaccines against the coronavirus in August.

“Baka by August, pupuwede na at least ‘yung pilot or ‘yung pilot can come earlier para mas marami na. Tignan po natin. Lahat po iyan ay nakadepende sa pagbabakuna natin (Perhaps, the pilot testing of face-to-face classes can be done by August or it can come earlier. Let’s see. It depends on our vaccination drive),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

Roque expressed optimism that President Rodrigo Duterte will not oppose the possible resumption of F2F classes, once many Filipinos already get vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Dahil matagal nang inirekomenda po ng DepEd, ng Department of Education yung pilot na pagbubukas ng ating mga paaralan, kapag dumami na po ‘yung nabakunahan, wala na pong objection ang ating Pangulo (Since DepEd or the Department of Education has long been recommending for the pilot reopening of schools, the President will have no objection once many have already received the vaccines),” he said.

The Asian Development Bank (ADP), in its latest Asian Development Outlook report released on Wednesday, said school closures because of the Covid-19 pandemic left a huge impact on the potential learnings of students.

The ADB noted that the closure of schools in the Philippines caused limited opportunities for students to learn better skills they could have gained through physical classes.

In December last year, Duterte directed the DepEd to cancel the planned resumption of F2F classes in areas deemed low risk for Covid-19 in January this year because of the discovery of a new strain of the coronavirus in the country.

On March 4, Duterte said the government’s mass immunization program is moving at “full throttle” in time for the proposed F2F pilot implementation.

The DepEd extended the present school year to July 10, in a bid to address the learning gaps and give students more time to complete requirements.

The agency is planning to start the next school year on August 23. (MNS)

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