Senator Win Gatchalian thanked the country’s education frontliners for ensuring the smooth opening of schools and ensuring the continuity of education despite the persisting threat of COVID-19.
Gatchalian cited the role of teachers, principals, and schools superintendents in preparing the country’s schools, especially for taking steps in ensuring the safe resumption of face-to-face classes, including the installation of temperature checks, handwashing, and isolation facilities, as well as proper ventilation in classrooms. He also pointed to the role of education frontliners in enforcing public health protocols such as mask-wearing and monitoring COVID-19 symptoms among learners.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating mga guro, mga punong-guro, at ating mga schools superintendent para tiyakin ang maayos na pagbubukas ng ating mga paaralan ngayong school year. Hindi magiging posible ang pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon at ang ligtas na pagbabalik ng face-to-face classes kung hindi dahil sa kanilang patuloy na pagsisikap, kaya naman ipinapaabot natin sa kanila ang ating pinakamataas na pagpupugay,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
Gatchalian made the rounds in some schools in Valenzuela yesterday. While Monday’s school opening was generally peaceful based on his observations, Gatchalian pressed the need for government to ensure adequate facilities for the full resumption of in-person classes in November. He noted that in some schools with large populations, some learners had to attend class in school gymnasiums and covered courts, while some had to sit on the floor. He also observed that some classrooms end up being congested because of enrollment influx and learners’ migration, which resulted in inadequacy of desks.
“Sisiguraduhin nating mabibigyan ng sapat na pondo ang pagpapatayo ng classrooms. Malaking pondo ang kakailanganin lalo na para sa mga paaralan sa bansa na tinamaan ng nakaraang malakas na lindol at bagyong Odette na tumama noong Disyembre ng nakaraang taon,” Gatchalian said.
The Department of Education (DepEd) eyes a budget of P86.5 billion to construct classrooms in 2023.