Health, safety measures to be ‘strictly enforced’ during pilot face-to-face classes — DepEd

Published November 12, 2021, 3:42 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

To help ensure the safety of everyone, the Department of Education (DepEd) assured that it will be strict on enforcing health and safety measures during the pilot run of face-to-face classes set to start next week.

Tamulaya Elementary School in Polillo Island is among the 100 public schools allowed by DepEd to hold pilot face-to-face classes starting Nov. 15, 2021 (Photo from DepEd)

“Kami naman, for our part sa DepEd, ini-inspect namin ang mga napipiling eskwelahan na kailangang handa ang facilities, masisiguro ang social distancing, mayroong tubig at gamot, at malapit sa health stations (For our part in DepEd, we’re inspecting selected schools to ensure that their facilities are ready, social distancing will be ensured, they have water and medicine, and are close to health stations), Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a statement issued Friday, Nov. 12.

Emphasizing the shared responsibility framework, Briones assured the general public that the DepEd — with the help of local government units (LGUs), national government agencies, and local stakeholders — will be strict on enforcing health and safety measures set for the pilot.

A total of 100 public schools are set to push through with the implementation of pilot face-to-face classes on Nov. 15.


DepEd: 100 public schools all set for pilot face-to-face classes on Nov. 15

Meanwhile, Briones added that DepEd officials are also personally overseeing preparations on the ground — weeks before the start of the pilot stage.

Last week, DepEd Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Nepomuceno Malaluan personally visited Tamulaya Elementary School (TES) located at Polillo Island in Quezon Province.


DepEd officials visit a public school in Polillo Island ahead of pilot face-to-face classes

Along with DepEd Planning Service Director Roger Masapol, Malaluan led the ocular visit in TES to see if the classrooms are retrofitted, the handwashing facilities are available, and other health and safety protocols are in place for the incoming face-to-face classes.

“This is not an inspection but a validation that our field units have implemented the Joint Memorandum Circular for the pilot implementation,” Malaluan said.

“I think it validates for us the framework of shared responsibility, kitang-kita natin ang pagtutulungan ng ating (we see the cooperation between the) Regional and Division Offices, katuwang ang (along with) LGU at (and) barangay with the full support of the parents and teachers,” Malaluan added.

DepEd said that the LGU of Polillo and Barangay Tamulaya teamed up to provide the necessary support that TES needs while ensuring that the surrounding communities are aware of the protocols once the pilot implementation starts. Barangay tanod and police officers are stationed in checkpoints in front of the school to maintain order and ensure that all will follow the set protocols.

DepEd said that all TES teaching and non-teaching personnel are 100 percent fully vaccinated and the entire population of Polillo Island has reached 80 percent of fully vaccinated residents, achieving an immunity herd, one of the key factors why TES qualified for the pilot implementation for the face-to-face classes.

In total, there will be 49 students from Kindergarten to Grade 3 who will be participating in the pilot implementation.

Each class will hold five to eight learners per batch with two batches per day. Class hours will be three hours per day, from Monday to Friday.

DepEd said that parents will remain outside the school premises except for parents of Kindergarten learners who will be permitted to stay in a designated area.

Meanwhile, Briones congratulated TES for its preparations for pilot face-to-face classes.

“You have shown that with proper coordination and participation, a community can come together and overcome anything for the sake of their children,” she added.


More schools to join pilot run of face-to-face classes — DepEd