Recall of face-to-face classes amid threat of new COVID-19 strain backed

December 29, 2020 - 10:22 AM
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classroom teacher
Classroom teacher at President Corazon C. Aquino Elementary School in Quezon City. Photographed by Michael Varcas, Philstar

The Catholic bishops’ youth arm on Monday backed the decision to cancel the dry run of face-to-face classes in schools amid the threat of new and more infectious coronavirus variants.

Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth, said they would support any move if it is for the common good.

“Safety, especially of human lives, is a very important and non-negotiable principle,” Alarcon said.

“Whatever move, if it seeks the safety and well-being of the people, citizens especially the vulnerable should be supported,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday recalled his own order allowing the pilot testing of face-to-face classes in areas identified as low-risk for Covid-19 by January next year.

Duterte also warned of a second lockdown should cases spike before the country gets its first vaccine in May.

Many countries have shut their borders to flights from the United Kingdom and South Africa following the discovery of more infectious variants of the coronavirus.

Heeding Duterte’s directive, the Department of Education suspended the limited face-to-face classes “until further notice”.

Alarcon, who is also the bishop of the Daet diocese, said that education and all other human endeavors must always seek the safety and well-being of all.

“Adjustments, resumption of any modality, new interventions must seek the safety of children and the young,” he said.