DepEd, DOH to discuss expansion phase of limited face-to-face classes next week

Published January 14, 2022, 4:39 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH) will meet next week to discuss the expansion phase of limited face-to-face classes in basic education.


During the “Laging Handa” public briefing on Friday, Jan. 14, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said that the concerned officials of the two agencies would meet next week regarding the expansion phase of face-to-face classes.

“We’re meeting with DOH next week on the detailed outlook in relation to the face-to-face classes initiative,” Malaluan said.

In November, 100 public schools initially conducted a pilot study of limited face-to-face classes.

Upon the President’s authorization to increase the number of pilot schools from the initial 100 public schools in the pilot study of limited face-to-face classes, DepEd said that the Regional Directors nominated additional public schools to be included in the pilot run.

DepEd data showed that a total of 165 out of 177 additional public schools qualified to join the pilot run of the limited face-to-face classes have successfully commenced on Dec. 6, 2021.

As of Dec. 15, DepEd said 265 public schools were participating in the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes.

On Dec. 17, DepEd completed its pilot face-to-face classes in select schools.

This January, DepEd planned to implement the expansion phase of limited face-to-face classes in more schools nationwide.

However, with the continued increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and the changes in risk classification in many areas, DepEd was advised by DOH to put on hold the plans to expand the limited face-to-face classes especially in Metro Manila and other high-risk places.


Expansion of face to face classes ‘on hold’ until Jan. 15 — DepEd

Malaluan said that during the meeting with DOH, DepEd expects to get more updates on the current public health situation. This, he added, will help the agency in making decisions when it comes to the implementation of face-to-face classes.

One of the topics to be discussed, Malaluan said, is how the suspension of classes in areas with high COVID-19 infections will affect the expansion phase of the face-to-face classes.

“Ang isang naapektuhan ay yung ating timetable for the expansion phase of face-to-face classes based on the letter of DOH na not earlier than Jan. 15 (Our timetable for the expansion phase of face-to-face classes based on the letter of DOH not earlier than Jan. 15 will be affected),” Malaluan said.

As a response to the calls of groups for academic health break, DepEd authorized its local officials to suspend classes and teaching-related activities based on the needs of the students and teachers.


DepEd allows suspension of classes, teaching-related activities amid COVID-19 surge

Malaluan cited that while the report on the pilot face-to-face classes showed favorable results, the DepEd will wait for the recommendation from DOH.

“We, at DepEd, coordinate with DOH so our decisions are informed from the health side,” Malaluan said. “We will strongly recommend progressive face-to-face classes even under the present situation but subject to the alert levels and developments in COVID,” he added.


DepEd eyes expansion of the implementation of face-to-face classes by 2022