WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For the first time in almost two years, the Philippines will reopen in-person classes on Monday, November 15, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The Department of Education (DepEd) has so far approved 100 public schools that will take part in the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes starting November 15. These schools are from areas that are deemed low-risk for COVID-19 by the Department of Health.
Twenty private schools will start face-to-face classes beginning November 22, the DepEd said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has given the go signal to allow more schools to join the pilot run.
Bookmark and refresh this page for real-time news, photos, videos, and context of the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes in the Philippines.
Face-to-face classes to start in 20 Cordillera public schools on November 29
Twenty public schools in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will start limited face-to-face classes on Monday, November 29.
Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Director Estela Cariño said on Wednesday, November 24, that out of more than 100 schools who applied for the pilot run, only 20 met the requirements.
These include complete vaccination of both the teaching and non-teaching personnel of the school, parents’ consent to let their children attend face-to-face classes, support from the local government unit, and arrangements in school facilities.
These nine schools from Mountain Province are joining: Maket-an Elementary School, Dacudac Elementary School, Cagubatan Elementary School, Lubon Elementary School, and Masla Elementary School in Tadian; Gonogon Elementary School and Dalican Elementary School in the provincial capital Bontoc; Monamon Proper Elementary School in Bauko; and Gayang Elementary School in Sabangan.
Tabuk City in Kalinga has three schools participating: San Pablo Integrated School, Toppan Integrated School, and Guilayon Elementary School. Two more schools in separate municipalities in the province will also join: Liyang Elementary School in Tanudan and Bonong Elementary School in Balbalan.
The following schools will also start face-to-face classes: Dalit National High School in Pilar and Mabungtot Elementary School in Langiden in Abra; Japa Elementary School and Naguey Elementary School, both in Atok, Benguet; and Asipulo National High School and Haliap Elementary School, both in Asipulo, Ifugao.
No schools in the high-risk areas of Baguio City and Apayao province were included. There are 1,843 public schools in CAR.
Tour at a private school for pilot run of face-to-face classes in PH
Rappler’s Bonz Magsambol gives us a tour of Mother of Good Counsel Seminary, Inc in San Fernando City, Pampanga on Monday, November 22, the start of limited face-to-face classes in select 20 private schools in the country.
Two private schools postpone the implementation of limited face-to-face classes
DepEd curriculum development chief Joyce Andaya said the reason for both deferrals was because of the schools’ academic calendars.
The education department confirmed that the 18 remaining schools were able to push through with the pilot run.
PNP Pangasinan apologizes over police presence during pilot face-to-face classes
The Philippine National Police (PNP) Pangasinan apologized to the education department over the presence of some cops inside Longos Elementary School in Alaminos City, Pangasinan.
According to the PNP’s report, the police personnel were deployed to the school, where the pilot face-to-face classes were held, due to the request of some school officials. The police presence was requested “to ensure observance of minimum public health standards.”
Newly installed PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos said a probe will be launched to determine if there were security lapses in the said deployment.
DepEd to give budget support to schools running face-to-face classes
Education Secretary Leonor Briones has assured schools that her department would augment their budgets should there be an extension and expansion of the pilot run of face-to-face classes.
Briones gave the assurance after at least two regional representatives of the Department of Education (DepEd) described concerns about ensuring sustainable provision of health resources for implementing face-to-face classes.
Plastic barriers not required in classrooms
Putting up plastic barriers in classrooms is not a requirement for schools implementing face-to-face classes, Education Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma said in a press briefing on Tuesday, November 16.
“Kung may nakalagay, hayaan natin, pero kung wala, hindi na natin in-e-encourage ito (If there are barriers, we will let them be, but if there are none, we do not encourage them),” Garma said.
Garma said the Department of Education would study existing barriers if they affect students’ sight, hearing, or behavior. He also said that these serve as another layer of confidence given to parents to assure them of the students’ safety while in class.
“One day is not enough to see the motivation and behavior of our learners while they’re in the classroom,” he said.
DepEd releases list of 20 approved private schools for pilot run
The Department of Education on Tuesday, November 16, released the list of the 20 private schools that have been approved to begin the pilot run of their limited face-to-face classes beginning Monday, November 22.
There are five in Luzon, six in the Visayas, and nine in Mindanao.
Read the full list in this story.