The Philippines to outlaw face-to-face education until a vaccine is found

A parent carrying his children?s elementary school identification cards walks past an artwork of the Philippine flag as he goes to claim food coupons, as part of a local government relief program for citizens affected by the coronavirus lockdown, in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

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The education secretary of the Philippines has confirmed the government’s intention to outlaw face-to-face education until a vaccine against coronavirus is discovered and distributed.

“It is a challenging task for us at the Department of Education to prepare our schools in a different set-up but we are committed to our duty to make education available and thriving, even in the most difficult time,” Leonor Briones said.

Briones was reacting to pronouncements made by President Rodrigo Duterte in a taped address, which aired Friday morning, where the chief executive suggested that there should be no classes until a vaccine against the respiratory illness was developed.

Duterte, in the same taped address, also expressed doubts whether the country was ready for distance learning but said he would support the Department of Education.

Briones said she would ask permission from Duterte to allow face-to-face classes in areas where there are no COVID-19 cases.

Schools that will be allowed to hold in-person classes must follow minimum health standards, such as reduced class sizes, she said.

The Philippines’ health ministry on Monday confirmed eight more novel coronavirus deaths and 579 additional infections.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have risen to 22,474 while deaths have reached 1,011.

Read more via ABS-CBN


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