President Rodrigo Duterte said he does not favor the opening of classes until a vaccine against the new coronavirus disease is available.
“I will not allow the opening of classes where the children will be close with each other. No one will go to school unless I am sure they are really safe. There has to be a vaccine first,” said the president.
“No more classes, only play time, unless I’m sure that they are really safe,” he added in a media briefing late night on May 25.
The Education department has earlier announced that classes for school year 2020-2021 would resume on August 24.
Education officials said classes could be conducted online, depending on the state of the coronavirus pandemic.
Several sectors criticized the Education department’s decision, saying it would be difficult for many students to enroll, especially for househols that lost regular income due to the pandemic.
Some legislators and teachers also warned that opening schools could put children and the safety of their families at risk.
To date, the country has confirmed 14,319 COVID-19 cases along with 873 deaths and 3,323 recoveries.