A mother helps her two children in their online classes as public schools open on October 5, 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manila - The Education Ministry is unlikely to freeze education after several storms, an official said Tuesday.
Several groups have called for a freeze or a waiver of learning activities after a series of typhoons hit some parts of the country in recent weeks, as the COVID-19 pandemic has not been stopped.
No country has suspended the resumption of classes, even when the pandemic reached its peak, said Deputy Minister Tonisito Umali.
"Hindi na po siguro mangyayari ito dahil sa nabanggit ko, bukod (dito) maaaring i-correct niyo po ako, kung may alam po tayong bansa na maaaring hindi po nagtuloy ng kanilang unang araw ng pasukan dahil sa COVID-19, parang wala po,"
(That's unlikely to happen because, as I said, they can correct me, if they know of any country that hasn't pushed its first-class data because of COVID-19. They seem to have left).
"Kung gagawin nating barometro ang ginagawa ng buong mundo patungkol sa edukasyon ng mga bata, wala pong nagka-academic freeze dahil palagay po namin ito ang tamang polisya, ang magpatuloy. At ang nakikita po natin with the latest issuance ay maging flexible na lang tayo."
(If we use this as a barometer, there will be no academic freeze, because we believe it is the right policy to continue. As we see in the last issue, we will be flexible).
The agency has introduced the "academic ease," in which students are given a flexible time to file complaints, said Department of Education Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali.
"Di po tayo ngayon mahigpit na nagpapatupad ng requirements sa mga bata nang makasabay at matugunan po itong mga pangangailangan na ito," he said.
(We do not strictly meet the students' requirements to meet these needs.)
At the same time, as of Sunday, more than 1,000 schools in various regions had been damaged by the typhoons, Umali said.
Some 448 schools in Bicol were destroyed after the Super Typhoon Rolly attack earlier this month, followed by 412 schools in Central Luzon, 121 in Calabarzon, 91 in the Cagayan Valley, 53 in Ilocos, 41 in the Cordilleras, 15 in Mimaropa and 9 in Metro Manila, Umali said.
Typhoon Rolly leaves hundreds of schools damaged.
He added that there are 1,935 families living in 430 schools with 14,000 classrooms as evacuation centers.
A mother assists her two sons in their online classes as public schools open amid the COVID-19 pandemic .
Photo credits to Mark Demayo