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DepEd awaits Duterte’s nod on conduct of pilot face-to-face classes

The Department of Education (DepEd) is prepared to conduct the pilot face-to-face classes once President Rodrigo Duterte gives his go signal, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said Saturday.

In an interview on Dobol B TV, Malaluan said the DepEd, along with the Department of Health (DOH), has already finished the guidelines for the pilot face-to-face classes in 100 schools located in areas classified as low-risk for COVID-19.

“If makapag-presenta... at tsaka mag-go signal ang Pangulo, we are ready,” Malaluan said.

(If we are able to present [the guidelines] and the President approves it, we are ready.)

Earlier, the DepEd announced that the school year 2021-2022 will open on September 13.

According to the DepEd official, there are 600 schools being considered for the conduct of the pilot face-to-face classes after passing the evaluation on readiness.

With the help of the United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF, Malaluan said the DepEd and DOH were able to put up a dashboard which will help them monitor schools that are considered as having low risk for the transmission of the coronavirus.

“‘Yang  dashboard na ‘yan, nakikita namin doon 'yung risk classification ng isang lugar at paaralan na nakapaloob doon,” he said.

(With that dashboard, we are able to see the risk classification of a certain area including the schools located there.)

Of the 600 schools that passed the evaluation, Malaluan said only 100 will be chosen for the conduct of the pilot face-to -face classes.

He said the DepEd will choose several schools from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as the study requires representation from different islands across the country.

However, Malaluan said the National Capital Region was not considered for the pilot classes considering the health situation in the area.

The DepEd is hoping that the guidelines for the pilot face-to-face classes will be tackled in the next Cabinet meeting for Duterte’s approval.

On the other hand, Malaluan said the government has not vaccinated all public school teachers yet, given the current geographical prioritization policy.

He said the DepEd is pushing for an “institutional approach” in order to vaccinate teachers who reside outside the NCR and other areas that were classified as priority for the government vaccination program. —KG, GMA News