BAGUIO CITY – At least 20 public schools in far-flung communities of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) begin to reopen their doors for limited face-to-face classes Monday, nearly two years after they had been temporarily shut down due to the prevailing pandemic.
Georaloy Palao-ay of the Public Affairs Office of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the region, said Sunday most of the schools allowed to hold classes are multi-grade schools with small population.
“Maliliit na schools ‘yan, like ang isang school from Kinder to grade 6 eh 50 plus lang ang learners nila so baka ‘yung K to 3 nila ay 10 lang ang participants (they are small schools with learners from Kinder to Grade 6 with only about 50 [learners] so there will be about 10 who will participate),” he said.
Mt. Province has the highest number of schools participating with nine, followed by Tabuk City in Kalinga with three, and two each from Abra, Benguet, Ifugao and Kalinga.
“Sila ang pumasa sa assessment ng field offices namin based sa school safety assessment tool at kailangan din ng LGU concurrence (They passed the assessment using the school safety assessment tool conducted by the field offices),” Palao-ay said.
The schools in the region were allowed to hold in-person classes following the lowering of the risk classifications in the Cordillera provinces. Those that reopened are in areas under minimal risk for the coronavirus.
Only learners in Kindergarten to Grade 3 for elementary and the Technology, Vocational and Livelihood strand for Senior High School (SHS) are joining the in-person classes.
No schools from Baguio City and Apayao will participate in the pilot testing since these are still under Alert Level 3, Palao-Ay said.
The approved schools are Maket-an Elementary School (ES), Cagubatan ES, Masla ES, Dacudac ES, and Lubon National High School, all in Tadian; Gonogon ES, and Dalican ES, both in Bontoc; Monamon Proper ES in Bauko and Gayang ES in Sabangan, Mountain Province.
In Kalinga, the three schools are San Pablo Integrated School, Toppan Integrated School, and the Guilayon ES in Tabuk City, Liyang ES in Tanudan, and Bonnong ES in Southern Pinukpuk.
In Benguet, the participating schools are Ja’pa ES and Naguey ES, both in Atok.
In Ifugao, Asipulo National High School and the Haliap ES in Asipulo; and in Abra the Dalit National High School in Pilar and Mabungtot ES in Langiden.
More than a hundred schools in the region submitted their intent to be part of the limited face-to-face classes but only the 20 schools came out as fully compliant with the requirements set by the Inter-Agency Task Force, the DepEd, and the Department of Health, which include teachers and non-teaching personnel getting vaccinated against the disease.