MANILA – The safety of students should be the primary consideration regarding plans on the opening of classes for the next school year, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Wednesday.
“The adjustment is obviously due to the pandemic which is a threat to lives. For me the principle ‘safety first’ is paramount. This consideration is critical to deciding when schools should open. I trust our officials will be guided by this principle and by scientific data, as we continue to implore help of the Almighty,” Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, chairperson of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) said in a statement.
He added that the “decision, as well as the decision making”, is also a communal thing as the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic calls for collective solutions and decisions.
“It is a situation where the non-cooperation of one, poses a danger to all. As (the) World Health Organization (WHO) says, ‘nobody is safe unless everybody is safe’,” Alarcon added.
On Tuesday, the Department of Education (DepEd) said it is considering to open school year 2020-2021 in August.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones, however, said the school opening would still depend on the decisions of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Section 3 of Republic Act 7797 states that the “school year shall start on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August”.
The administration of final examinations and school year-end activities have been put on hold due to the enhanced community quarantine. (PNA)