As schools reopen, bishop tells students to value time with teachers, schoolmates

August 22, 2022 - 9:36 AM
Students seated on chairs with plastic barriers attend a class as several schools in the Philippines' capital reopen for the first time since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, December 6, 2021. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

As most students are returning to classrooms this week, a Catholic education official encouraged them to value each moment— whether big or small— that they once took for granted.

Bishop Jose Elmer Mangalinao of Bayombong said over Radio Veritas that the return of face-to-face classes is a great time to catch up on what students lost during the last two years of school closures due to the pandemic.

As head of the bishops’ Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education, he called on learners and even teachers to welcome the school year “with so much hope and enthusiasm”.

“We are hoping that everybody learned from this pandemic on how important the face-to-face medium of instruction is, and on how valuable it is to see your teachers, classmates, and friends each day,” Mangalinao said.

Most schools nationwide are expected to open the new school year with the implementation of blended learning, the Department of Education said.

DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said some 46 percent or 24,175 public and private schools will implement full face-to-face classes starting August 22.

He said that 29,721 schools or 51.8 percent will implement blended learning modality, while the remaining 1.29 percent or about 1,004 schools will conduct distance learning.

Bishop Mangalinao also called on educators and school personnel to take their missions to educate the youth seriously.

“As we are given another chance to begin again, may we all learn that we are blessed with the gifts of life, faith, and mission,” he added.

“I pray that all those involved in the training, formation, and education of our young may take to heart the mission of helping them see the meaning of life by their words and actions,” he said.

According to the DepEd, at least 27 million students have enrolled for the school year 2022 to 2023.