DepEd to include more grade levels in expanded face-to-face classes

Published January 19, 2022, 4:04 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

As it prepares for the expansion phase of limited face-to-face classes in basic education, the Department of Education (DepEd) is planning to include learners in other grade levels in the limited in-person sessions.

Pilot face-to-face classes at Mother of Good Counsel Seminary in San Fernando, Pampanga in November 2021 (Photo from DepEd Region 3)

In an interview over dzBB, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan gave updates on the planned expansion of limited face-to-face classes amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

He mentioned that among the possible features of the expanded face-to-face classes is the inclusion of students coming from different grade levels.

“Ibubukas na ito sa (this will be opened) to more grade levels and more geographic areas,” Malaluan said.


DepEd to strongly push for the 'progressive expansion' of face-to-face classes

When DepEd implemented the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes in November, Malaluan said that only Kinder to Grade 3 learners for Elementary and those who need laboratory in Senior High School (SHS) under technical-vocational livelihood (TVL) track were allowed to participate.

Learners in Grades 4 to 6 (Elementary) and those in Grades 7, 8, 9, and 10 (Junior High School) were not included in the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes.

“Ang ating rekumendasyon dito sa expanded face-to-face classes ay nakabatay sa naging resulta ng ating pilot face-to-face (Our recommendation for expanded face-to -face classes is based on the results of our pilot face-to-face),” Malaluan said.


Pilot study of limited face-to-face classes showed desirable results — Briones

He explained that areas under Level 3 — which include Metro Manila, among others — will not be allowed to expand face-to-face classes yet.

Malaluan explained that there are two parameters on the expanded face-to-face classes.

“Una ay ang aspect ng readiness ng paaralan na tumupad sa protocols batay doon sa guidelines ng DepEd at DOH at iyon ay makita natin na it is working during the pilot phase (First is the aspect of the readiness of the school to comply with the protocols based on the guidelines of DepEd and DOH and that we saw that it is working during the pilot phase),” he said.

The second parameter, Malaluan said, is the COVID-19 risk assessment which is based on the alert level system.

DepEd said that the pilot run, which included 100 public schools and 20 private schools, was designed to focus on younger children as advised by health experts and the Department of Health (DOH).

The pilot run of limited face-to-face classes was participated by 15,683 learners in 287 public and private schools nationwide from Nov. 15 to Dec. 20, 2021.

Last year, DepEd said that the expansion phase of face-to-face classes will start this month.

However, due to the surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases driven by the Omicron variant, DepEd was advised by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and DOH to put its expansion plans on hold.


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

During President Duterte’s Talk to the People early this week, Education Secretary Leonor Briones reported to the President the “successful implementation” of the pilot face-to-face classes.

Briones also reiterated the plan of DepEd to push through with its expansion phase in February but only in Levels 1 and 2 areas. DepEd said that only vaccinated learners and teachers against COVID-19 would be allowed to participate.


DepEd eyes expansion of face-to-face classes in February for vaxxed personnel, students