PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has approved the conduct of limited face-to-face classes in selected schools in areas considered as “low-risk” for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday, September 20, 2021.
In a press conference, Roque said the participating schools will be determined by the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Health (DOH) to ensure that transmission of coronavirus will be prevented during the conduct of in-person classes.
He said the local government in concerned areas should also express support for the resumption of face-to-face classes, while there should also be written consent from the parents allowing their children to attend classes in person.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said they were elated by the decision of Duterte.
"This is wonderful, this is a great day tungkol sa edukasyon dito sa ating bansa," she said during the press conference.
Based on the approved guidelines, Kindergarten classes will be allowed for up to 12 students, while Grade 1 to 3 classes will have a maximum of 16 students. Classes may last up to three hours at a maximum.
Technical vocational classes, on the other hand, can have 20 students at a time.
Briones said assessment will be conducted on a regular basis to identify the necessary adjustments needed to implement.
"Kung safe ang pilot and it is effective, then we will gradually increase. Pero ang mahalaga ditto, bantayan natin kung ano ang risk assessment. Pag may pagbabago sa risk assessment, then talagang titigilin natin," she said.
For the school year 2021-2022, around 28.2 million students were enrolled for the blended learning system implemented by the government amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The figure is higher than the 26.2 million total enrollees in 2020 and the pre-pandemic figure of 27 million students.
"Ito ay nagpapakita na nakikinig sila sa paliwanag ng ating department at tinatanggap nila ang strategy at approach namin, 'yung blended learning," Briones said. (SunStar Philippines)