‘KIDS VULNERABLE’: Postpone classes to 2021 – Treñas

first_imgMayor Jerry Treñas. ARNOLD ALMACEN/CMO “Naintindihan gid namon ina,” said Belleza. Public and private schools have been closed since March as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. In areas considered high-risk, online classes may be observed for as long as there is internet connection and the teachers and students have the needed devices. “If they will not let their children go to school, we will not insist the contrary,” said Treñas. “This lack of vaccine may unduly expose children, who are among the vulnerable persons, to the COVID-19 virus,” warned Treñas. Belleza also stressed DepEd Region 6 would respect parents’ decision on the schooling of their children, that is, if they would enroll them for school year 2020-2021 or not. Face-to-face teaching may still be possible in areas deemed as low-risk for COVID-19 transmission or do not have internet connection needed for online classes. According to Mayor Treñas early this week, he won’t actively encourage students to go to school at this time. “To date, the riding public in Iloilo City is experiencing shortage in public transportation services such that some of our constituents are enduring long waiting time and/or choosing to walk to/from work. The additional influx of incoming students may further burden the city’s public transportation network,” said Treñas. ILOILO City – The opening of schools in this city should be postponed “until next year”¸ Mayor Jerry Treñas urged Secretary Leonor Briones of the Department of Education (DepEd). August this year is still not a good time to resume classes, he said. The health, safety and well-being of children are the concerns of schools, too, she stressed. “Kon indi man lang kita sigurado sang epidemiology sang aton ginabantayan, ibutang na lang naton sa siguro. Nga-a? Kay puede man kahulat ang aton eskwelahan,” said Defensor. It is the school principals who would determine what teaching modules are applicable to their schoolchildren’s particular circumstances and needs, said Dr. Lea Belleza, spokesperson of DepEd Region 6. “We know the virus is still there, and the possibility of its transmission remains great if there is no physical distancing,” he said. Social distancing is a precautionary measure against COVID-19 because the disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. In the face-to-face class set up, physical distancing would be observed, said Belleza. DepEd Region 6 revealed that for school year 2020-2021, it would be exploring alternative teaching methods while the threat of COVID-19 remains. In addition, according to Treñas, access to public transportation is currently restricted to not more than 50 percent of a vehicle’s passenger capacity. He would rather forego school year 2020-2021, according to Defensor, so that everybody could focus on overcoming SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and which still does not have a vaccine. COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. He reminded the Education chief that there is still no available vaccine against COVID-19. “The city government respectfully expresses its reservation that the opening of classes on the said date may limit the effectiveness of the measures…to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” read Treñas’ letter to Briones dated May 22. Treñas he would leave it to the parents to decide on their children’s schooling. It is possible to divide a class – one half for the morning session and the other half for the afternoon session – to achieve physical distancing among students. He added: “What is one year of school closure anyway? We’re talking about human lives here.” Treñas’ position is shared by Iloilo’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. According to Treñas, considering the children’s natural instinct to play and socialize, there might be difficulty imposing stringent social distancing measures among schoolchildren during recess, before and after classes. In fact, according to the governor, nobody could say for certain that by August, the COVID-19 pandemic would have ceased. Deped Order No. 007 series of 2020 issued by Briones on May 1 set the opening of school year 2020-2021 this Aug. 24 for both public and private schools at the basic education level. “Will life grind to a halt just because schools won’t open for a year? Of course not. Kadamo man sang tawo nga nag-untat isa ka tuig nga pag-eskwela. The one-day delay is not that much when you consider the risk we’re subjecting our students if we open our schools at this time,” said Defensor./PNlast_img read more