THE Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday assured that “stringent preparations and protocols” have been established in low-risk areas to ensure maximum protection learners and other participating in the implementation of face-to-face classes (F-to-F).
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones had announced on Monday that at least 90 public schools would be participating in the conduct of the pilot limited F-to-F classes on November 15.
Anchored on their shared responsibility framework, the DepEd said that the guidelines of DepEd and the Department of Health (DOH) provide specific operational rules and contingencies to minimize the spread of Covid-19 in schools. These policies have been consulted to and endorsed by child health expert organizations.
The DepEd added that in terms of vaccination, around 93.2 percent of teachers and staff of participating schools have been vaccinated.
“We also secured the commitment of the National Task Force against Covid-19 (NTF) to prioritize jabs for teachers,” DepEd said.
Nonetheless, DepEd emphasized that the pilot run of F-to-F classes will be voluntary in nature. Parents must provide written consent allowing their children to join.
“No parent shall be forced to send their children in this modality since the schools will still hold distance learning classes,” DepEd stressed adding that with the help of their partners – DOH, Department of Interior and Local Government, NTF, professional organizations, child health experts, “we are committed to proactively monitor and assess trends and concerns about the risk of Covid-19 in schools.”
“And together, we must take care of each other as we gradually reopen our schools for our children,” DepEd said.
Of the 90 participating public schools, 14 schools are in Caraga Region; 10 schools in Regions 1 (Ilocos); 10 schools in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley); 10 schools in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas); eight schools in Region 7 (Central Visayas), eight schools in Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula); eight schools in Region 11 (Davao); six schools in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); five schools in Calabarzon; and five schools in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).