WAITING GAME. Young learners in Barangay Sumader, Batac City, Ilocos Norte stay in a makeshift structure where communication signal is strong in this undated photo. Based on a local survey conducted by the Schools Division of Ilocos Norte, the distance learning system has been taking a toll not just on students, but also on adults supervising the new mode of education. (File photo by Leilanie G. Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – With the easing of quarantine protocols against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and nearing rollout of the vaccine, the Schools Division of Ilocos Norte (SDOIN) is getting ready to ensure all schools are prepared for the possible resumption of face-to-face classes.

George Emman Manuel, Disaster Risk, and Reduction Management (DRRM) officer of the SDOIN, said Friday they are in the process of conducting an audit to ensure schools' readiness once the national government will allow students to return to the classrooms.

“We will start to visit schools using our monitoring tool and if there are lacking, then these must be addressed to ensure the safety and well-being of learners,” Manuel, in an outdoor press conference held at the SDOIN compound, here said.

Since the start of the pandemic, Schools Division Superintendent Joan Corpuz said she issued a directive to all primary and secondary schools in the province to ensure cleanliness, with or without the 88,000 learners currently enrolled and on homeschooling.

On Friday, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc shared in his Facebook post that most parents and teachers in the province are in favor of face-to-face classes particularly in areas with no Covid-19 cases.

“We will continue to try to provide the best quality education to our kids while ensuring the safety of all. We believe there is a way to do both,” Manotoc said, as he earlier expressed his sentiments on the national government’s apparent reluctance to resume face-to-face classes in the country.

An online survey conducted by the SDOIN earlier this month showed that only 14 percent of the parents and 24 percent of teachers in the province were against face-to-face classes.

“I think parents should be given options. If they are not comfortable sending their children to school, then they can do homeschooling so that in the end, there will be no blame game should anything go wrong,” said Kaye Anne Abiva, a Laoag resident.

The governor has pushed for the resumption of face-to-face classes in low-risk areas, noting the distance learning system has been taking a toll not just on students, but also on adults supervising the new mode of education. (PNA)