MANILA, Dec 3 (Mabuhay) — National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday the government may allow face-to-face classes but this will be done on a case-to-case basis.
Galvez made the statement a day after he inspected Our Lady of Fatima University in Valenzuela City, which is retrofitting its campus in order to comply with COVID-19 protocols.
“Hindi pupuwede sila po na mag-open hanggang hindi po natin na-inspect,” he said at the Laging Handa briefing.
“There is a third party that will really validate if they follow the minimum health standard at saka iyong reengineering at reconfiguration ay nagawa ayon sa sinasaad ng ating DOH [Department of Health] sa minimum health standard protocols.”
Galvez said he favors in-person classes for medical courses, citing the pandemic task force’s recent decision to allow the resumption of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine’s face-to-face clinical internship program.
“Mayroon tayong mga tinatawag na mga courses na dapat talaga mayroon talagang tinatawag na experiential learning or tinatawag nating face-to-face,” he said.
The Commission on Higher Education indicated on Tuesday that face-to-face classes would be optional for universities and colleges.
Last week, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the Department of Education was studying the possibility of a gradual return to face-to-face classes in 2021 in light of the positive developments on the production of COVID-19 vaccines.
However, the DepEd said this would require a shared responsibility among various stakeholders.
“Titingnan po namin, makikipag-coordinate po kami kay Secretary Briones on how we could really expedite and look at the possibility na magkaroon po ng tinatawag [na] reconfiguration ang different schools so that we can really follow and obey iyong minimum health standard,” Galvez said.
“Nakita po namin dati kasi na talagang based doon sa mga studies ay talagang nagiging super spreaders ang mga bata. At nakita po natin dito sa ngayon na hindi pa po tayo puwedeng magkumpiyansa, kasi iyong ating mga figures hindi pa po irreversible,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier said that learners should not physically attend classes until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Philippines to shift to distance learning this academic year, which includes the use of modules and supplemented by broadcast and online classes.(MNS)