Like a time bomb, the abrupt opening of schools is set to cause a boom in the already growing number of COVID-19 cases. The decision made by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to open schools on August and for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on September, is, above all, negligent. As the government remains unwilling to implement a sufficient and effective mass testing and contact tracing program, every Filipino citizen is at the risk of contracting the virus.
Despite the reassurances of Education Secretary Leonor Briones, ‘social distancing measures’ inside the classroom is insufficient in combatting the disease. It further endangers the lives of every student and education worker, what is there to learn when both become infected with the virus? Other than day-to-day survival, health and safety remain as the priorities of every family, DepEd and CHED should check theirs.
In which they must first ensure accessible quality education, the labor rights of teachers and democratic consultations with teachers, parents, and students before drawing conclusion on the opening of classes.
The Angelite stands in one with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on the collective call for NO MASS TESTING, NO SCHOOL OPENING!