It’s all systems go for Monday’s (November 15, 2021) pilot implementation of the country’s face-to-face (F-to-F) classes, and Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones has expressed confidence that the pilot run will be a success.

“Napakataas ng aming [We have high] hopes. Napakataas ng [We have high] assessment that this pilot [F-to-F] will be successful because out of 61,000 schools, we are only involving 100 schools,” Briones said at a virtual news briefing. She likewise cited the support from other government agencies, local government units, parents, and civil society.

Although the Department of Education (DepEd) cannot really guarantee that the pilot exercise would be 100 percent safe, Briones said that “all possibilities” were studied carefully and a very detailed contingency plan is in place.

“Sa panahon ng pandemya, mahirap magsabi…garantiya [During this time of pandemic, we cannot guarantee that it would be] 100 percent [safe],” Briones said.

However, the DepEd said that they were able to study all possibilities that might occur and that options were chosen carefully.

Physical isolation, she said, will be done if there will be a suspected or confirmed case/cases of those involved in the F-to-F classes.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, in a separate interview, said that only those showing symptoms would be tested.

During the news briefing, Education Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma said that
based on the reports of the participating regions as of November 8, 2021, 100 schools will be pushing through with the pilot implementation of the F-to-F classes.

Garma said that four schools were replaced out of the 100 pilot schools due to varying reasons. The four replacement schools were from the same regions. These are Regions 5 and 11.

“Majority of the participating schools are ready for the pilot study on November 15, 2021, as supported by their detailed implementation plans,” he said.

He added that ocular visits among identified schools would be conducted by DepEd executive and management committee members, prior to and during the pilot implementation of F-to-F classes.

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