Education secretary Leonor Briones last week said that children were more likely to get Covid19 at home than in a school setting, a stance which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) opposes.
Briones’ statement comes after being asked whether the resumption of face-to-face classes for school year 2021-2022 would compromise learners’ health.
A position paper disseminated by the Department of Education cited a UNICEF report that said schools had the lowest threat for infection. It said that only 1 to 5% of total reported cases were composed of children and adolescents, while the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that 91% of these cases were children who were infected at home. However they added that kids with Covid19 may be asymptomatic but still contagious.
The ADB however, says otherwise. In a report, they asserted that resuming face-to-face classes would raise the number of deaths by 8%, while continued cessation would cost P1.9 trillion in lost economic opportunities.
Their report also enumerated areas in which resumption would be very risky. It did however, also say that school closure was not particularly effective in curbing Covid19 and that pandemic risk to kids was limited.
Some 1,114 schools are expected to join the dry run for in-person classes next month, while Metro Manila, Davao and Cotabato schools asked not to be included.
Photo: Philippine Star