OVER 170 more schools, including 28 in Metro Manila, will join the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes starting December 6, 2021, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Thursday, December 2.

The agency said the 177 schools will be in addition to the 120 schools earlier allowed by the national government to hold limited in-person classes in areas identified as low-risk from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Of the schools in Metro Manila which will take part in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes, two each is in Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan City, Mandaluyong City, Marikina City, Muntinlupa City, Navotas City, Parañaque City, Pasig City, Taguig City, Valenzuela City, and Las Piñas City; while one each in San Juan, Pasay, Malabon, and Makati.

The pilot implementation of limited in-person classes in the country started in November 15 in provinces such as Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen and Caraga.

Based on the guidelines approved earlier by President Rodrigo Duterte, 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 maximum.

Technical vocational classes can have 20 students at a time.

The pilot run will be assessed by the end of December and will end on January 31, 2022.

By February 2022, DepEd, after the evaluation and assessment of the initial pilot run, will present to Duterte the expansion of in-person classes that will start on March 7, 2022.