COVID-19: No vaccine, no school, says Philippines govt

Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte
EJ
Emeh Joy

Philippines officials have announced on Monday that millions of Children in the country won't be allowed to go back to school until a coronavirus vaccine is made available; otherwise, they might have to broadcast lessons over the television.

Countries like France and South Korea have resumed their usual face-to-face classes as they already have their outbreaks under control, but Philippines authorities see it as a precarious move.

Last month, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte said that even if students could not graduate, there is need for them to stay out of school to help curb the spread of the viral disease.

Speaking via a statement on Monday, the education secretary, Leonor Briones said, "We will comply with the President's directive to postpone face-to-face classes until a vaccine is available". He added that classes are to resume August ending and teachers will have to use virtual learning methods.

However, millions of people live in abject poverty in the Philippines and lots may not be ae to access computer devices at home, which is the key tool for online classes. "The teacher and the school will have to adjust... depending on the availability of communication", Briones had said.

Generally, children are not allowed out of their homes unless they are out to get essentials or on their way to work. Over 25 million primary and secondary school students commenced online enrolment earlier this month for a delayed start to the school year which usually runs from June to April in the Philippines.

Scientists all over the globe are doing their best to see to it that a coronavirus vaccine is developed however it is still not clear when a viable and proven one will be available and distributed on a large scale.

The British pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca said last week that it is "on track" to commence with rolling out a vaccine in September, but that is if the ongoing trials prove successful.

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