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DepEd optimistic on expanding face-to-face classes by January 2022, official says

The Department of Education (DepEd) is optimistic that the conduct of face-to-face classes will move to its “expansion phase” by January 2022 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, its official said on Thursday.

Interviewed on ANC, DepEd Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma said after the pilot implementation this December, more grade levels and longer class hours will be considered.

“This would happen by the early part of next year. We are optimistic that we could start the expansion phase by January,” he said.

With the ongoing pilot face-to-classes, only Kindergarten to Grade 3 as well as Senior High School students are participating.

So far, a total of 272 public schools and 18 private schools have been conducting face-to-face classes in the country under the pilot implementation, according to Garma.

“We are doing the pilot precisely because we want to learn from this. This will serve as the basis for our recommendation to the Office of the President if ever we’re going to expand this next year,” he added.

During a hearing of the House Committee on Basic Education & Culture on face to face classes, Garma said the DepEd accelerated the expansion of the face-to-face classes.

He said the DepEd will come up with a five-week report on pilot face-to-face classes after its implementation by the end of December.

According to him, the parameters in the evaluation include compliance to health standards, learning outcome, structures in schools, dynamics on behavior, awareness of community, among others.

The assessment and recommendation will be presented in January.

On Monday, the DepEd said that classroom availability must be put to consideration when students from all grade levels return to schools to conduct limited face-to-face classes amid the pandemic.

“This will become an issue when we do for all the grade levels because then, the classroom availability will be a consideration,” DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said. — Joviland Rita/RSJ, GMA News