President Duterte Expands More Schools To Hold Face-To-Face Classes

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President Duterte has given the Department of Education (DepEd) approval to expand the number of schools that will participate in the pilot resumption of face-to-face classes.

DepEd stated that the first 100 public schools would return for in-person classes on Monday, Nov. 15, with the remaining 20 private schools following on Nov. 22 as the government finds new schools to be included in the pilot class.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier this week requested that the President give power to DepEd and the Department of Health (DOH) to increase the number of participating schools, which the President granted.

According to DepEd, this development is attributable to the country’s “consistent progress” in the COVID-19 scenario.

“The expansion of the number of pilot schools will allow a greater degree of experience among all our regions that will serve us well for the expanded phase of face-to-face classes,”

DepEd said in a statement.

The DepEd stated that it will announce the additional pilot schools once they have been evaluated and validated to be eligible for inclusion on the list. This will be decided by the DepEd’s assessment of school readiness and the DOH’s assessment of the COVID-risk level.

According to DepEd, based on the most recent report from the Department of Health’s evaluation, 484 out of 638 schools passed the “granular” risk assessment as minimal or low-risk.

“We will announce the additional pilot schools once validated. The expansion of the number of pilot schools will allow a greater degree of experience among all our regions that will serve us well for the expanded phase of face-to-face classes,”

DepEd further stated.

As of now, only 100 public schools and 20 private schools have agreed to participate in the prototype in-person sessions, which will take place on November 15 and 22, respectively. The names of private schools have yet to be announced by DepEd.

Kindergarten, Grades 1-3, and senior high school students will be served by the pilot programs.

DepEd said it hopes for continuous support from all stakeholders to welcome back learners to schools on a limited basis starting next week.

“With operational guidelines and our shared responsibility framework in place, we assure everyone that this pilot program will remain consistent with relevant public health standards, rules and regulations,”

it said.

There will be 14 participating schools from Caraga, 10 from Northern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, and Central Luzon, and nine from Bicol. There will be be eight public schools from Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Davao.

Meanwhile, Calabarzon, Soccsksargen, and three public schools in Western Visayas will each have five participating schools.

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