MACABEBE, Philippines: Millions of Philippine students returned to classrooms for the first time in more than two years on Monday (Aug 22), after the country lifted most remaining COVID-19 curbs to try and reverse learning losses.
Students, all wearing face masks, queued to enter their classrooms and attended flag-raising ceremonies in their schoolyards across the country as the government phases out remote learning.
“For two years, we longed for face-to-face classes, so even if there’s a flood, we will continue our lessons,” said school teacher Mylene Ambrocio, 37, as she stood in ankle-deep water in a classroom in Pampanga province north of the capital. “I am happy to see the children face-to-face.”
Precautions such as temperature checks, mandatory masks and limits on the number of students per classroom remain in place.
The country’s school closures due to the pandemic were among the longest in the world, with their reopening delayed by slow vaccine roll-outs and elections earlier this year.