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  • Palace Approves Face-To-Face Classes In Over A Hundred Schools In PH

    The pilot run will be in areas with "low-risk" of COVID-19 spread.
    by Arianne Merez for Reportr .
Palace Approves Face-To-Face Classes In Over A Hundred Schools In PH
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano
  • Face-to-face classes will be allowed again in areas with minimal risk of COVID-19, Malacañang said Monday, over a year since the Philippines shifted to remote learning due to the pandemic.

    Limited face-to-face classes will resume in areas assessed by the Department of Health as having a low risk of COVID-19 spread, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. Parents need to give their consent for their children, he said.

    The Philippines is one of few countries in the world, including Venezuela, to keep classrooms shut for this long due to the pandemic.

     Kinakailangan mayroon pong suporta ng LGU (local government unit) sa pamamagitan ng isang resolution o letter of support at kinakailangan mayoroon pong written support or consent ng mga magulang, Roque told Palace reporters.

    The announcement came a week after the Philippines opened academic year 2021-2022 for public schools via remote learning again.

    Department of Education Sec. Leonor Briones said 100 public schools would be included in the pilot run with the possible inclusion of 20 more private schools. 

    “Very, very strict ang health standards natin,” she said.

    Here are the class sizes for the pilot run:

    • Kindergarten: 12 learners (3 hours maximum)
    • Grades 1 to 3: 16 learners (3 hours maximum)
    • Technical vocation students in 5 senior high schools: 20 learners (4 hours maximum)

    Tipas Elementary School Principal Dr. Mary Jane Fernando shows the complete set of uniforms and anti COVID-19 kits that will be given to students during the virtual Parent Teacher Association Forum at Ems Signal Village Elementary School in Taguig City in anticipation of the in-person learning of the city once it will be allowed by the government.
    PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano

    The pilot run will be held in alternating weeks and will still use blended learning. Monitoring and evaluation of the pilot run will be for two months, Briones said, noting that teachers are being prepared for the move.

    In an official statement posted on their Facebook page, DepEd said that the pilot implementation was approved by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. The agency emphasized that the schools who will participate in the pilot run “are located in minimal risk-areas based on the criteria set by the Department of Health, and must have passed the safety assessment using the school safety assessment tool of DepEd, and have the support of the local government unit in the form of a resolution or letter of support.”

    While 100 public schools have already been selected, 20 private schools will still undergo selection. The DepEd reiterated that “participating schools must have the written support and consent of parents of students who shall participate in the pilot. No learner shall be forced to attend the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes.”

    Early this month, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the pilot run will prioritize Kindergarten to Grade 3 levels. This was upon consultation with the Department of Health (DOH) and other medical experts.

    “This is going to happen in areas with minimal risk and this age group is actually the age group that the medical experts have found based on the data to be the most resilient so far from COVID transmission,” he shared in an interview with CNN Philippines.

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    Since 2020, the Philippines has been employing remote learning in its education system after the pandemic prompted the physical closures of schools. Some 28 million students have enrolled for the current school year based on data from the DepEd.

    This story originally appeared on Reportr.

    Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

    Click here for what parents think about resuming face-to-face classes despite the pandemic.

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