Are We Ready for Face-to-Face Classes?

It’s been almost a year, and every student is eager to go back to school. Maybe not for their lessons specifically, but nonetheless, it has been a very long time since they were able to meet their friends and classmates. Teachers themselves are almost missing their noisy students in a loud and buzzed classroom.

Truly nothing can replace traditional formal education. It has been designed to meet all the needs of the students; to allow them to make the most of their education, and to provide for their holistic development. But to open schools and allow face-to-face classes, is actually a much bigger step. It would require more careful planning than when we resumed classes through blended modalities.

As an archipelagic country, we are fortunate in this case, because our geography contributes to the control of the transmission of the COVID-19. As such, there are islands that are considered low-risk, and those that were able to control the pandemic successfully. This however, will not totally eliminate the threat. And we need to take a more proactive stance against the pandemic.

There are many other factors to consider before face-to-face classes can resume. Schools need to have a systematic protocol in order to cater to hundreds of students on a daily basis following the minimum health standards. Classrooms, laboratories and cafeterias should have enough space to allow for the physical distancing protocol. It also relies heavily on the cooperation of the students.

But, it isn’t going to be all about the school. We have to take note that most students utilize public transportation to and from school. This means an influx of people in public areas of convergence.

There is still so much that needs to be done. We should not rush the resumption of face-to-face classes when we are faced with so much uncertainty. Let us instead focus our efforts in improving the current arrangement in blended learning.