Governor Art Yap on Wednesday said that he will not allow the resumption of classes in Bohol in August without safety plans from local education officials amid the coronavirus disease (COVID) 19 pandemic.
“If the provincial government cannot be confident that we can 100 percent assure the safety of our children, then I will not allow the opening of classes on August 24,” Yap said in a press conference on Wednesday.
According to Yap, the Department of Education (DepEd) and other stakeholders should meet with Capitol officials “immediately” to come up safety measures for students.
He said that a premature or ill-prepared resumption of classes would only cause the provincial government a “massive headache.”
The national government has initially scheduled the resumption of classes on August 24 while the month-long enrollment period is set to proceed as planned starting June 1.
The provincial chief executive highlighted that the challenge of maintaining social distancing among students will be compounded by the existing problem on lack of classrooms in schools.
“Maybe do we split it? Naay magpabilin sa balay pila ka adlaw, and then e-video sila, online streaming and 50 percent of the classroom will go to school and on other days the other batch will go to school…I don’t know, mao kinahanglan na mag-meeting mi sa mga school officials,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon have completed their framework which will serve as guide for churches across Bohol when Masses are allowed to resume under the “new normal.”
Yap said that the local Church leaders have come up with measures that limited how many people will be inside a church at a time and determine how many Masses will be held in a day and when senior citizens and minors can go to church.
“At least ang Catholic Church abtik, nagsubmit na sila,” he added.
Both classes and Masses in the province have been suspended since the province was placed under an enhanced community quarantine in mid-March.
The Diocese of Tagbilaran and Talibon have instead facilitated the celebration of Masses through online means particularly through social media and through the radio and a local television network. (AD)