The DepEd official further said that limited face-to-face classes will close the equity issues on students’ access to gadgets that may be needed in distance learning. “Allowing face-to-face classes will once again enhance the movement of people that might result in infections within our schools. We have seen [a] sudden spike of COVID-19 cases in provinces that never had cases from the beginning because of [locally stranded individuals] who were allowed to go home,” Gatchalian said./PN “We don’t want a scenario where physical classes will be opened but will eventually be suspended again because of infections in their respective areas,” Gatchalian reiterated. Stringent health standards, according to Briones will be imposed and the classrooms to be used must be conducive for social distancing. President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on July 21. PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO “Ang parents na ayaw talaga ng face-to-face, may choice silang mag-online, TV, radyo, o manual,” Briones said. “Nandyan ang telebisyon. Modular system din ay gagamitin pa rin, mga reading materials ide-deliver sa mga bahay ng mga bata.” Local government units must also be ready to support the scho ols that will hold face-to-face classes through the Special Education Fund, while it should also be ensured that the school facilities are also safe from other disasters. “I’m with you on this,” Duterte told DepEd secretary Leonor Briones after the latter presented in details the recommendation during a meeting held Monday evening but aired on Tuesday morning. Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, for his part, opposed DepEd’s plan, saying the government cannot compromise the safety of the children as they are the country’s “greatest wealth.” During her presentation, Briones told President Duterte that physical classes in selected parts of the country could be held once or twice a week only in the light of present conditions. “Ito ay limited lamang, hindi lahat ng learners ay dadaan sa prosesong ito,” Briones said. “Hindi ito pinipilit sa lahat ng mga eskwelahan. Para lang ito sa mga lugar na napakababa ng health risks.” MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the proposal of the Department of Education (DepEd) to conduct limited face-to-face classes in “low-risk” modified general community quarantine areas by January, 2021. DepEd and National Task Force Against COVID-19 personnel will conduct inspections.