Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Tuesday said school officials in areas with low risk for COVID-19 infections can apply for limited face-to-face classes.
At a press briefing, Briones said these officials can forward their requests to their respective regional directors in the Department of Education (DepEd).
“Bawat lugar, bawat probinsiya merong division superintendents, supervisors, principals et cetera,” Briones said.
“Now, ‘yung gustong-gusto at eager sila to go into limited face-to-face (classes) sulatan nila ang kanilang regional directors,” she added.
Briones said school officials and regional directors are knowledgeable about the situation in their respective areas in terms of COVID-19 cases and capacity of school facilities.
The requests of school officials will be approved by the regional directors and will be under the review of the DepEd, she added.
Briones noted that the ‘starting point’ of the application for limited face-to-face classes will depend on the assessment of Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), if the concerned areas are classified as low risk.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte already approved the DepEd proposal of a limited face-to-face classes.
Malacañang later said the holding of limited face-to-face classes will start January next year subject to government conditions.
Briones noted that schools should qualify to the following requirements:
- location of the schools must be assessed as low risk areas by the IATF
- the classrooms must be in a standard physical condition and their size should meet the requirements for social distancing
- schools must meet the minimum health standards of the Department of Health
- host local government units must be ready to support the needs for limited face-to-face classes
In case of a possible surge in the middle of the school year, Briones said the DepEd will adhere to the instructions of the IATF for a shutdown.
Briones noted that guidelines regarding the limited face-to-face classes are already created.
According to Briones, some private schools including the De La Salle’s school system are already using limited face-to-face classes. — RSJ, GMA News