With 90 schools now identified, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday, Oct. 25, expressed confidence that it will be able to complete the 100 public schools needed for the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes to start next month.
During the virtual press briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Education Secretary Leonor Briones gave updates in the pilot run of limited face-to-face scheduled to start in public schools on Nov. 15.
“As of now, our objective to reach 100 public schools, we have 90 [schools] that are already identified,” Briones said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Briones explained that a total of 638 schools were selected from an initial list endorsed by the regions which was then evaluated by the Department of Health Epidemiology Bureau (DOH-EB).
“In line with the granular risk assessment of schools conducted by the DOH EB, there are 329 schools that passed the assessment as minimal or low risk,” Briones said.
Even before President Duterte formally approved the pilot implementation of limited in-person classes in basic education, Briones said that the DepEd — through its regional offices — have already been preparing for the gradual resumption of face-to-face classes.
Briones said that DepEd has been constantly monitoring the rolling assessment, number of schools identified by DOH eligible for pilot and the number of schools continuing with pilot implementation.
As Oct. 4, Briones noted that out of the 59 schools identified by DOH, a total of 30 schools said that they will push through with the pilot run.
As of Oct. 12, out of 207 schools, there were 39 schools identified and as of Oct. 17, out of the 329 schools identified by DOH, 21 schools will push through.
As of Oct. 25, Briones said that “90 schools will be pushing through with the pilot implementation” of face-to-face classes.
Out of 90 public schools identified, 14 schools are in CARAGA; 10 schools each for Regions I, II and VIII; eight schools each for Regions VII, IX, and XI; six schools in Region X; five schools each in Regions IV-A, and XII.
Meanwhile, Briones noted that some schools were removed from the list of 329 schools due to the various reasons.
“Some LGUs [local government units] have recalled concurrence due to changing COVID-risk level,” Briones said. “Some did not pass the School Safety Assessment Tool,” she added.
Briones stressed that if parents decide to back out on their children’s participation to the pilot run, it is their right to do so since the safety of the learners is involved. “What’s important is that we are not forcing them to participate,” she said, noting that participating in the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes remains voluntary.
As part of its preparation for the pilot run in November, Briones said that DepEd is working on the completion of 100 public schools from the 329 list as of Oct. 17.
Briones said that DepEd is also working on identifying 20 private schools that will be part of pilot which will start on Nov. 22.
Currently, Briones said that there is an on-going nomination of private schools and evaluation of proposals from International Schools.
Briones said that DepEd is also preparing to conduct necessary training and orientation for parents, LGU, learners, school personnel and partners.
There are also ongoing site inspections in the schools that will be included in the pilot run.