‘No mass testing, no school opening’- Teachers' Group

‘No mass testing, no school opening’- Teachers' Group

The school opening for this school year 2020-2021 should not push through without the conduct of mass testing, which will cover both the learners and personnel, including teachers and other non-teaching staff of school, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines said Monday,

“We are one with parents who worry for the health of their children, whom we also care for as our own,until we’re sure of our students’ and colleagues safety, there should be no school opening,” said ACT.

The Department of Education (DepEd) issued an order announcing that the opening of classes for the basic education would start on August 24, 2020 and end on 30 April 2021.

The department said that various learning delivery options such as, but not limited, to face-to-face, blended leaning, distance leaning, and home schooling, and other modalities will be implemented this school year depending on the local COVID Risk Severity Classification and compliance with minimum health standards.

DepEd also said that teachers would start to render services starting June 1, 2020 to prepare weekly Learning Activity Sheets, participate in capacity building activities in managing multi-modal learning delivery options, assists in orienting parents on effective facilitation on home-based learning, prepare learners for the formal start of classes, and gather data on the specific contexts of their learners (access to technological gadgets, capacity of learners for independent learning, etc).

ACT Philippines issued an urgent call to conduct mass testing the education employees in time for the DepEd’s announcement to start work on June 1.

"No mass testing, no physical reporting,” said ACT.

“This should be completed with test results before we return to work, and without charge,” said ACT secretary Raymond Basilio.

Basilio said that if mass testing is not done, the government is risking and endangering the health of at least two million education workers and their families.

“These are crucial not only in ensuring a safe working environment, but also in determining whether the agency may be able to operate should classes open in August,” Basilio said. 

“We cannot afford to risk the lives of our colleagues and especially not the lives of our students,” Basilio noted.

“Successfully controlling the virus remains to be the biggest requisite for work resumption and school opening,” he said.

“No mass testing, no physical reporting and no class opening,” he added.

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