Face-to-face classes: Children need ‘human interaction’ – DepEd

By: Darryl John Esguerra - INQUIRER.net July 22,2020 - 09:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday cited the importance of “human interaction” to children’s overall development following the government’s decision to allow limited face-to-face classes in areas deemed “low-risk” to COVID-19 infection.

According to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, it is important to continue classroom classes even in a limited capacity to help nurture learners as a “complete and whole individual and not (as) a robot.”

“Ako naniniwala ako maski limited dapat ipagpatuloy natin itong limited face-to-face (classes) dahil ang ating mga bata, ating mga anak, mga apo pinapalaki natin bilang human beings,” Briones said in a televised press briefing.

[I believe that although limited, we should continue face-to-face classes because our children, our grandchildren we raise them as human beings.]

“Mahalaga ang human interaction na matuto silang makikitungo sa mga kapwa bata, sa teachers, (at) sa mga adults sa loob ng eskwelahan. If you can do this in spite of COVID-19 (even) on a limited scale, then we will have fulfilled our mandate to help nurture a complete and whole individual and not a robot,” she added.

[Human interaction is important for them to learn how to deal with fellow children, with teachers, (and) with adults within the school. If you can do this in spite of COVID-19 even on a limited scale, then we will have fulfilled our mandate to help nurture a complete and whole individual and not a robot.]

The DepEd chief likewise noted the “very minimal” effect of COVID-19 to children in the country, claiming that only 16 or 0.87% of the country’s total COVID-19 deaths are children.

“Napakaliit talaga ng epekto ng COVID sa mga bata. Siguro isang blessing ‘yan sa ating mga kabataan na hindi sila masyadong naaapektuhan ng COVID pandemic na ito,” Briones said.

[The effect of COVID on children is very minimal. Maybe it is a blessing to our young people that they are not too affected by this COVID-19 pandemic.]

On Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the education sector’s proposal to conduct limited face-to-face classes in areas under “low-risk” modified general community quarantine despite previously declaring that no physical classes will be made in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Read: In-person classes to start January in low-risk areas

But Briones noted limited classroom classes will only be allowed starting January 2021 in schools that would meet the requirements set by the government which includes strict enforcement of minimum public health standards, coordination with local officials and health authorities, and inspection of school facilities by the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

Read: LIST: Gov’t rules for ‘limited’ face-to-face classes in COVID-19 ‘low-risk’ areas 

The upcoming school year is set to start on August 24 with schools adopting various learning delivery options such as distance or online learning, and homeschooling.

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