December 4, 2022

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has not recommended the full resumption of face-to-face classes at this time, despite snowballing requests from students’ organizations to return to the conventional method of instruction.

In a meeting with student leaders and school administrators recently, Magalong said the requests for resumption of face-to-face classes have to be studied carefully, as data showed the partial resumption for select courses has resulted in several students getting infected of the Covid-19.

The mayor said about 20 students contracted the Covid-19 infection as soon as they participated in the limited face-to-face classes.

“I hope we can do it pero hindi basta-basta; kailangang pag-aralan,” Magalong told the students who expressed their support to the proposal of Kabataan party-list for the resumption of classroom instruction. The students, under the umbrella of the National Students of the Philippines, suggested for the city government to come up with a localized version of the Oplan Ligtas Balik Eskwela.

Resumption of face-to-face classes and an academic break were among the petitions recently lodged at City Hall by the NUSP and student governments. The latter has been granted by the different school administrations subject to further meetings between school officials and the students.

Early this month, the Commission on Higher Education has permitted face-to-face classes to courses that required hands-on training but this is limited in areas declared under alert level 2 or 1 only.

Included in the conditions for resumption of face-to-face classes is for the student population to have a high vaccination rate; retrofitting of classrooms to conform to the limited number of students allowed in a room; and approval of the concerned local government unit.

As of Nov. 12, Baguio is on alert level 3.

To hasten the resumption of classes, school authorities appealed to the students to help the community respond to the Covid-19 pandemic by getting vaccinated.

The City Health Services Office has already rolled out the vaccination of 12 to 17 years old.

Last Nov. 12, a ceremonial vaccination of senior high school and college students has been conducted at the University of Baguio.

The Department of Health targets to vaccinate 70 to 80 percent of the pediatric population nationwide by December while Baguio’s target is to vaccinate 95 percent by the end of the year.

As of Nov. 10, 2,419 of the pediatric population in Baguio has been vaccinated with their first dose. – Rimaliza A. Opiña