DepEd-NCR eyes occasional school visits for student interaction

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 2) — Education officials in Metro Manila plan to propose allowing students to occasionally visit schools so they can interact with each other once quarantine measures are relaxed.

Malcolm Garma, director of the Department of Education-National Capital Region, said in an online media briefing that only a limited number of students would be allowed to go to school at a given time.

Dadalhin lang natin sila sa school, sampu sampu para nang sa ganoon mag-activity sila, magkita kita makapaglaro sila tapos after two hours babalik na sila sa bahay,” Garma said.

[Translation: We will bring them to school, ten at a time, so they can have activities, play games, and after two hours they will go home.]

Officials visited students in their homes ahead of the opening of elementary and high school classes on October 5. Most of them expressed disappointment that they would not be meeting their teachers and classmates anytime soon, Garma said.

Ayokong mangyari sana na itong henerasyon ng mga bata ay magkaroon ng social or psychological trauma dahil matagal na silang hindi nakakalabas,” he added.

[Translation: I don't want this generation of children to have a social or psychological trauma because they are confined in their homes.]

He said the initiative can be proposed once Metro Manila shifts to the lowest modified general community quarantine. Authorities said quarantine measures can be eased in November if the region continues to see a downtrend in new coronavirus infections.

President Rodrigo Duterte banned face-to-face classes in the whole country until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. The DepEd only allows blended learning for now, using a radio, television, and online-based education, as well as self-learning modules.

CNN Philippines' Eimor Santos contributed to this report.