/ 21 September 2021

ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro welcomed the approval of limited face-to-face classes in areas with low Covid19 risk but reiterated the need for the safe reopening of schools.

“The approval of having pilot limited face-to-face classes in areas where there is minimal risk of Covid19 is a welcome development. After more than a year of school closures, quality and access to education for every Filipino youth has been sacrificed. We need to start somewhere, sometime,” Castro said.

“Kasabay ng paghahanda sa pilot limited face-to-face classes sa mga lugar na may minimal risks ng COVID, kailangan ding siguraduhin ng administrasyong Duterte na mayroong access ang kabataan sa edukasyon na mayorya ay nasa ilalim pa rin ng blended distance learning,” she added.

The lawmaker stressed that teachers should be adequately supported by the government with gadgets, internet allowances and just compensation for  service rendered. Meanwhile, the youth should also be given gadgets and data allowances, especially the poorest of the poor.

“Another year of modules for students without adequate guidance from their teachers will be another wasted year for the students, teachers and parents,” Castro added.

“Another blended distance learning school year would also mean another year of overworked, undersupported and underpaid year for our dedicated teachers,” she added.

The lawmaker reminded the government that teachers have yet to get their overtime pay and service credit earned in the 13-month long pandemic school year.

“We will continue to monitor the guidelines and policies of the Department of Education on how it will implement the pilot limited face-to-face classes and urge the Duterte administration to ensure that our schools and our teachers have adequate support,” Castro said.