The Department of Education said Tuesday only 30 public schools would go ahead with limited in-person classes starting November 15, but Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma told a virtual briefing the number would increase until it reached the maximum 100 allowed schools.
Garma also said at least 29 schools pulled out from the pilot face-to-face classes on November 15, as their respective local government units and concerned parents refused to participate.
The 30 are those that passed the DepEd’s school safety assessment tool – from the 59 public schools initially identified by the Department of Health for the 2-month pilot implementation.
DepEd regional offices nominated 638 schools for the pilot run of face-to-face classes.
The Department of Health’s Epidemiology Bureau assessed these schools and approved only 59 schools for the pilot run because of their minimal or low risk from COVID-19.
Garma said 317 of the 444 school personnel in the participating schools had been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Under the DepEd and DOH guidelines, only fully vaccinated school personnel could join the pilot implementation.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the DepEd was not discounting the possibility of including Metro Manila schools in the pilot implementation.
The pilot run is the first step in a 3-phased plan to reopen Philippine schools, which have been closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Garma added the DepEd might allow either more schools or grade levels to hold in-person classes if the pilot implementation was successful.
Currently, only students from Kindergarten to Grade 3, and senior high schools are joining the dry run.
In the same press briefing, DepEd Director for Planning Services Roger Masapol said international schools have also been recommended to allow holding limited in-person classes but must first seek the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said they were now ready for the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes.
Domagoso announced this following an ocular inspection of the Aurora Quezon Elementary School in Malate, among the sites chosen for the pilot classes.
He was accompanied by City Engineer Armand Andres and Division of City Schools Supt. Dr. Magdalena Lim.
“To the mothers and fathers of ‘Batang Maynila,’ your Division of City Schools and your local government are preparing for this,” said Domagoso.
He said acrylic barriers were being put up to ensure the protection of students and to avoid parents worrying when once their children go back to school.
The presidential aspirant running under the Aksyon Demokratiko also announced that the city government purchased a total of 57,622 additional tablets for the use of students and teachers amid the ongoing online classes.
“This is on top of the 137,217 tablets previously bought and
distributed by the city,” said Domagoso as he thanked the Manila City
Council led by Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna for the support.
To complement this, Domagoso said they increased to 20gb from 10gb the
free monthly data allocation for recipients.
The 30 schools which did not back out are:
- Laserna Integrated School
- Mayabay Elementary School
- Igsoro Elementary School
- Basak Elementary School
- Mahanlud Elementary School
- Cabagdalan Elementary School
- Luyongbaybay Elementary School
- Cañang-Marcelo Luna National High School
- Busay National High School
- Pilar National High School
- Siocon Elementary School
Lanao del Norte
- Dalama Central Elementary School
- Babalaya Elementary School
- Napo Elementary School
- Masibay Integrated School
- Tambacon Integrated School
- Marcela T. Mabanta National High School
- Gutusan Elementary School
- Mary B. Perpetua National High School
- Sinalongan Elementary School
- Paco National High School
- Bato Elementary School
Zamboanga del Sur
- Manga National High School
- Manga Elementary School
- Lala Elementary School
- Sominot National High School
- Tabina Elementary School
- Guipos National High School
- Siloh Elementary School
- San Vicente Elementary School
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