THE Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MBHTE-Barmm) is set to allow the resumption of face-to-face classes in February in selected target "pilot schools" across the region.

This came after the ceremonial signing on Thursday, January 20, of the Inter-Ministry Memorandum Circular (IMMC) for the implementation of limited face-to-face classes.

The signatories, upholding the principle of "Shared Responsibility" for the reopening of classes, included the MBHTE, Ministries of Health, Interior and Local Government, Social Services, along with Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA).

The IMMC features not only the expansion of roles and responsibilities of the concerned ministries, but also the following points: coverage of Kinder to Grade 12 for the face-to-face learning modality pilot; use of Adaptive Learning Modality (ALM) as a learning approach; and inclusion of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language (ISAL) in the learning sessions.

MBHTE Minister Mohagher Iqbal said after seven months of meetings, seminars, and planning workshops led by the concerned technical working group, the MBHTE is ready to implement the limited face-to-face classes in Barmm.

"This policy will support other Barmm ministries and the school division offices, who are patiently and tirelessly preparing for the moment to accept their learners in their school classrooms," Iqbal said.

Reiterating that health and safety are paramount for teachers, students, and their families, Iqbal said his office and Schools Division Offices (SDOs) will implement strict health and safety protocols and other critical directives from the Barmm Inter-Agency Task Force.

"The effectiveness of the limited face-to-face learning modality necessitates the collaboration of the Barmm government, MBHTE leaders and personnel, SDOs, schools and administrators, concerned stakeholders, and external partners," Iqbal added.

MBHTE Assistant Secretary Alfadhar Pajiji said the public schools have undergone School Readiness Assessment (SRA) and School Safety Assessment Tool (SSAT) as benchmarks for the final list of schools in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes.

Pajiji said the limited face-to-face classes will be implemented effective February 14 in 33 pilot schools.

"Our approach is 33 priority list of pilot schools. Tapos kung may ma-disqualify, mag-identify tayo ng another 33 alternate list," said Pajiji, the focal person in the implementation of the limited face-to-face classes.

He added that they will observe and provide weekly reports and assessments through a detailed Monitoring and Evaluation Plan to ensure that the objectives of the policy are achieved. (SunStar Zamboanga)