/ 3 February 2022

ACT TEACHERS Party-list Representative France Castro on Wednesday urged the Department of Education to hasten the expansion of face-to-face classes in low-risk areas.

“Following the announcement of the IATF to put Metro Manila, Batanes, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Biliran, Southern Leyte and Basilan under Alert level 2 for February 1-15, we urge the Department of Education to again prepare for face-to-face classes for low-risk areas,” Castro said.

“Sa ilalim ng Alert Level 2, maaari nang maglunsad muli ng limited face-to-face classes. Dapat bigyan ng halaga ng kagawaran ng edukasyon ang mga pagkakataon na maaaring buksan ang mga paaralan sa mga lugar na low-risk,” she added.

The lawmaker urged the department to use the mid-year break to prepare and expand the list of schools that will re-open.

“Ngayong nasa mid-year break ang mga klase, dapat gamitin ng DepEd ang panahon na ito upang paghandaan ang mas pinalawak na listahan ng mga paaralan na magbubukas ng mga paaralan. Mabuting balita na nagsimula na ang coordination ng DepEd sa mga city mayor sa Metro Manila at sa MMDA. Sana ginagawa na rin ang coordination sa iba pang mga lugar na nasa ilalim ng Alert Level 2 o mas mababa,” Castro  said.

She stressed that the DepEd must be proactive in safely reopening schools especially now that the country is preparing for the inoculation of children aged 5-11 years old.

“With the Department of Education’s declaration that the pilot testing for limited face-to-face classes was a success, it should be ready with a broader list of schools included for the safe reopening of classes,” she said.

Castro said that in-classroom learning is the best way for pupils to gain access to quality education.