90 public schools to join pilot run of F2F classes

October 26, 2021 Arlene Rivera 362 views

THE Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday announced a total of 90 public schools will participate in the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes on November 15.

The number of schools increased to 90 from the 30 initial schools allowed following the DepEd and Department of Health (DOH) cleared 60 additional schools, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.

The said schools passed the risk assessment, a requirement imposed by the government to ensure the safety of students and school personnel.

The DepEd chief added that her department will also identify 20 private schools that will conduct face-to-face classes on November 22,2021.

She said that one international school has submitted the requirements to be assessed to hold limited in-person classes.

Last week, DepEd Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Malcolm Garma provided the initial list of 30 schools that will conduct limited physical classes that will begin on November 15.

Briones emphasized that participation in face-to-face classes is not mandatory. Parents or guardians have to give their consent before the conduct of classes.

From the said number of public schools identified, 14 schools are in CARAGA; 10 schools each for Regions I, II and VIII; eight schools each for Regions VII, IX, and XI; six schools in Region X; five schools each in Regions IV-A, and XII.

Currently, Briones said DepEd is now preparing to conduct necessary training and orientation for parents, Local Government Unit (LGU), learners, school personnel and partners, and school inspections that will be part of the pilot run of face-to-face classes.

The DepEd has reiterated that stringent preparations and protocols have been established to provide maximum protection for learners and other participating stakeholders in this critical undertaking.

The DepEd fully understands and respects the concerns of parents of learners in the implementation of pilot face-to-face classes in low-risk areas.

“Anchored on our shared responsibility framework, the guidelines of DepEd and the Department of Health (DOH) provide specific operational rules and contingencies to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in schools. These policies have been consulted to and endorsed by child health expert organizations”. DepEd said in a statement.

In terms of vaccination, around 93.2% of teachers and staff of participating schools are vaccinated.

“We also secured the commitment of the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) to prioritize jabs for teachers”.

“Nonetheless, we would like to emphasize that the pilot run of face-to-face classes will be voluntary. Parents must provide written consent allowing their children to join. No parent shall be forced to send their children in this modality since the schools will still hold distance learning classes”, the statement added.

According to DepEd with the help of their partners, the Department of Health, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the National Task Force for COVID-19, professional organizations, especially our child health experts, they are committed to proactively monitor and assess trends and concerns about the risk of COVID-19 in schools.

“And together, we must take care of each other as we gradually reopen our schools for our children”