Students in Junior High School (JHS) or those under Grades 7 to 10 are not yet among those who will participate in the pilot testing of limited face-to-face classes.
Based on the data obtained by the Manila Bulletin, the pilot testing of limited in-person classes will include 95 public elementary schools; five (5) public senior high schools and 20 private elementary schools.
DepEd data showed that there are more than 47,000 public and over 13,000 private schools nationwide.
In the official statement released by DepEd on Monday, Sept. 20, DepEd formally confirmed the President’s approval of the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas.
DepEd said that the pilot run will only include 120 schools. “We would like to emphasize that the pilot will only be participated by at least 100 public schools and 20 private schools,” the agency said.
These schools, DepEd added, are located in minimal-risk areas based on the criteria set by the Department of Health (DOH), and must have passed the safety assessment using the school safety assessment tool of DepEd.
Moreover, DepEd said that the schools must “have the support of the local government unit in the form of a resolution or letter of support.”
DepEd explained that while the public schools have already undergone a selection process, the “private school participants will still undergo selection.”
Education Secretary Leonor Briones, during the press briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, said that limited face-to-face classes will not be done “continuously”.
To ensure the safety of students and the teachers, Briones said that the classes will be scheduled in “alternating weeks.” Students will still be learning under Blended Learning this School Year (SY) 2021-2022.
Based on the Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) of DepEd, limited face-to-face sessions are part of the Blended Learning modality where two or more delivery options are “blended” together to cater to unique needs of the learners.
In the guidelines, DepEd said that only students in Kindergarten, Elementary level, and SHS level will be included as participants.
DepEd did not explain why JHS students were not yet included in the list of students who will be included in the pilot testing.
In Kindergarten, DepEd said only 12 learners will be allowed to attend classes.
In Grades 1 to 3, a total of 16 learners will be accommodated while 20 SHS students taking up technical-vocational will also be allowed to participate.