/ 13 July 2022

KABATAAN Partylist Representative Raoul Manuel on Tuesday welcomed the release of the Department of Education’s timeline for schools to transition to face-to-face classes.

According to the DepEd order, schools must fully transition to in-person learning by November 2022.

However, Manuel said absent in the same order is any program that will ensure that schools will be able to comply to such deadline.

“The point is not to blindly force schools to hold face-to-face classes, but to ensure that they can safely open and provide quality education even amid the pandemic. Ilang beses nang nagagalaw ang targets at deadlines dahil kulang at makupad ang paghahanda ng DepEd sa schools. ‘Di dapat ipasa ang bigat ng paghahanda sa mga schools, mga guro at mga magulang,” Manuel said.

The lawmaker also urged the education department to support the bills he is pushing for the welfare of teachers and students when in-person classes begin.

“Panawagan namin sa DepEd na suportahan ang pagpasa ng Twin Education Bills: House Bill 251 o Safe School Reopening Bill at House Bill 252 o Student Aid Bill para may sapat na budget at malinaw na guidelines para sa ligtas na balik-eskwela ng maraming estudyante. Kasama sa popondohan ang weekly antigen testing para sa mga papasok,” Manuel said.

The Safe School Reopening Bill aims to allot P122.4 billion for the retrofitting of learning spaces to prevent the spread of Covid19.

The Student Aid Bill, meanwhile, ensures that students and their families can cope with the costs to resume schooling and participate in school reopening.