The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Friday, November 12, that more schools will join the pilot run of face-to-face classes after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the proposal.
“With the approval of the Office of the President, the Department of Education is announcing that it will increase the number of participating schools in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes,” the DepEd said in a statement.
The DepEd said that in close coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), they assessed that more schools were qualified to join the pilot run, as the COVID-19 situation in the country continues to improve.
“From the latest transmittal of DOH, 484 out of the 638 passed their granular risk assessment as minimal or low-risk,” the DepEd said. From the 484 identified by the DOH, the DepEd will reassess the schools in terms of their readiness.
The agency added that it also received appeals from several local government units, including Metro Manila, to include their schools in the pilot run.
Virus epicenter Metro Manila is now under Alert Level 2, where limited face-to-face classes are allowed. (READ: Will Metro Manila schools be allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes?)
The initial 100 public schools identified would proceed with the pilot run of face-to-face classes as scheduled on November 15, while the 20 private schools would start on November 22.
The DepEd said that it would release the list of additional schools once validated.
“The expansion of the number of pilot schools will allow a greater degree of experience among all our regions that will serve us well for the expanded phase of face-to-face classes,” the agency said.
The Philippines remains the last country in the world that has yet to reopen schools for in-person classes since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March 2020. On October 25, Venezuela reopened schools after a long closure.
The government’s pandemic response has been assailed, with critics saying that the school closure in the country reflects misplaced priorities and failed management of the health crisis.
For the second time, millions of Filipino students on September 13 started classes even as campuses remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. – Rappler.com