Pilot Face-To-Face Classes Approved
Students nationwide are currently studying through different distance learning modalities, including modular, online, television, and radio-based instruction learning.
However, the Department of Education (DepEd) already planned to conduct pilot face-to-face (F2F) classes in select schools within areas with low risk of COVID-19 for the whole month of January 2021.
And on Monday, December 14, 2020, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Cabinet have approved the said plan.
“The Palace informs that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved during tonight’s Cabinet meeting, December 14, 2020, the presentation of the Department of Education to conduct pilot implementation or dry run of face-to-face classes in select schools within areas with low Covid-risk for the whole month of January 2021.”
– Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque
Furthermore, as reported by the Philippine News Agency, a newswire service of the Philippine government under the Presidential Communications Office (PCO); Roque also said that the face-to-face classes in schools will not be compulsory, but rather voluntary on the part of the learner/parents.
According to the Presidential Spokesperson, for a student to be able to participate in F2F classes, a parent’s permit must be submitted.
DepEd on the Approval of Pilot Face-To-Face Classes
On Tuesday, December 15, 2020, DepEd has welcomed the approval of the conduct of pilot face-to-face classes in select schools. In an official statement, the department said the pilot will provide important experience and learning that will inform the final recommendation they intend to make on any broader resumption of face-to-face classes.
The department also emphasized that the pilot study will be highly selective. Thus, they highlighted some of its conditions, which are as follows:
- The pilot implementation will take place only in areas categorized as low-risk
- At least under Modified General Community Quarantine or MGCQ
- There must be a commitment for shared responsibility of:
- The local government unit (LGU)
- And the parents or guardians
- Stringent health and safety standards shall be followed:
- At the home
- During travel to and from the schools
- And within school premises
DepEd also further emphasized that the participation of learners for the pilot study will be voluntary. They also revealed that the face-to-face classes will not be conducted for the full week schedule and that it will be conducted with reduced class size to allow physical distancing.
Schools Picked for Face-To-Face Classes
On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, Education Secretary Leonor Briones already revealed that there are one thousand, one hundred and fourteen (1,114) schools nominated to join the dry-run of the face-to-face classes which is to be implemented next year.
“So far ang nireport ng ating mga Regional Directors last week ay 1,114 schools ang nanominate,” Briones said in a press briefing. “Pero ang final listing would be very much lesser than 1,114, considering na may ibang factor tayong tinitignan…”
Before its actual implementation, DepEd said that the participating schools’ LGUs, learners, and parents will undergo a process of orientation, mobilization, and readiness confirmation.
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