Duterte approves pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes
By Robina Asido
President Rodrigo Duterte approved the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes in areas with low risk of COVID-19 cases, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Monday.
"The President approved the initiation of pilot classes face-to-face," she said.
Briones did not say when the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes will begin. One hundred public schools will take part but the DepEd is still reviewing the 20 private schools that will participate.
Briones said Duterte also sent written guidelines to implement limited pilot face-to-face classes.
"The written guidelines each reflect the combined guideline of the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Health (DOH), the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the experts," said Briones.
Briones said the guidelines include the safety assessment of DepEd in areas where the limited face-to-face classes will be conducted and local governments should agree to host the pilot implementation.
She said parents should also have a written consent allowing their children to join the pilot classes. School facilities should be able to meet the requirements of the IATF and the DOH to make sure minimum health standards will be followed.
"The additional guideline of the President is if we have teachers or school staff that are 65 years old and below. If they do not have comorbidities, they can join the program regardless of their vaccination status," said Briones.
"The face-to-face concept now is different from the face-to-face that we know where the teachers and students are meeting each other every day. In all other countries, there is no daily continuous face-to-face classes. It is being scheduled and strictly monitored," she added.
Briones said 100 public schools and 20 private schools will participate in the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes.
She said the list of the school participants will be released soon.
"It is important that the schools themselves will submit their own protocols to assure the safety of this pilot (implementation)," she said.
"If the pilot class is safe and it is effective then we will gradually increase, but it is important for us to monitor the risk assessment. If there will be changes in risk assessment we will stop this like what they are doing in other countries," she added. DMS