LOOK: Dry run of face-to-face classes at Pasig Elementary School

Pasig Elementary School in Pasig City held on Wednesday, November 24, a simulation of limited face-to-face classes.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Mayor Vico Sotto shared the photos of the activity. Unlike some public schools that started face-to-face classes last week, no plastic barriers were seen inside a Pasig City classroom.

Echoing the experts, Sotto said that what classrooms needed were good ventilation and air flow.

The Department of Education (DepEd) on November 15 said that face shields and plastic barriers were not required anymore in classrooms for in-person classes.

"Eto na sila! After almost 2 years! Makikita rito ang simulation or dry run ng pagpasok ng mga mag aaral sa Pasig Elementary School," Sotto tweeted.

(Here they are! After almost two years! You can see here the simulation or dry run of students going to the Pasig Elementary School.)

According to the Pasig City mayor, the DepEd was targeting to start the pilot run of face-to-face classes in select schools in Pasig on December 6.

Aside from Pasig Elementary School, three more schools are undergoing validation by the DepEd. These are Nagpayong Elementary School, F. Legaspi, and Pasig Ugong National High School.

Metro Manila, where Pasig City is located, is under Alert Level 2 for COVID-19. Limited face-to-face classes under this alert level are allowed but subject to DepEd's approval. (READ: Will Metro Manila schools be allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes?)

After nearly two years, the government allowed the pilot run of face-to-face classes in over 100 select schools starting November 15.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently allowed DepEd and the Department of Health (DOH) to identify more schools to join the pilot run.

The select schools for the pilot run are from areas deemed "low-risk" for COVID-19 by the DOH, which are mostly remote areas. There are about 48,000 public schools in the country.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that the first week of face-to-face classes was "fairly successful."

The Philippines is the last country in the world 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 Philippine government's pandemic response had been assailed, with critics saying that school closure in the country reflected misplaced priorities and failed management of the health crisis. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.