Imee: Please Open Schools ASAP

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Senator Imee Marcos has asserted that face-to-face classes should resume as soon as possible where schools are capable of enforcing health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Marcos said that schools may reflect the prevailing infection rates in their communities but that no proof exists of their being venues for spreading Covid-19.

“The Philippines is the penultimate country in the world to keep our schools shuttered,” Marcos pointed out.

Marcos criticized the “baffling priorities” of the IATF-EID (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases), which issued a resolution on October 15 that allowed the opening of cockpits over schools.

“Has gambling now become an essential activity to Filipinos and education a frivolous luxury?” Marcos asked.

Marcos expressed confidence that teachers and schoolchildren can strictly observe the wearing of face masks and face shields at the same time that physical distancing in classrooms is increased and other health protocols are put in place.

“In communities where transmission has stabilized, we now know that infection-control measures such as face masks, handwashing, ventilation, self-distancing, priority testing and tracing firmly put in place can minimize transmission in schools,” Marcos said.

“Educators can work safely in schools, and schools can be the safest place for children in a pandemic,” Marcos added.

Parents would also be able to resume working or find jobs, after blended learning methods forced them to stay home and become surrogate teachers to their children, Marcos also said.

“Substandard learning modules, erratic remote learning, and the digital divide have generated huge learning gaps between the enabled and the incapable, the connected and the isolated, the rich and the poor,” Marcos pointed out.

Marcos added that recent news of child suicides due to economic difficulties and the inability to adjust to blended learning methods serve as a warning of the psychological cost when children are deprived of social and peer relationships nurtured in schools.

“I trust our teachers, school boards, parent-teacher associations, and education committees in local government units to make the right choices for our children. In every way, they are our education frontliners,” Marcos said.