Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones on Wednesday, Feb. 2, authorized all Regional Directors to commence the progressive expansion phase of face-to-face classes for both public and private schools.
DepEd made this announcement after President Duterte approved DepEd’s recommendation for the progressive expansion of face-to-face classes amid the ongoing public health situation.
Pending the issuance of a Revised Joint Memorandum for the expansion phase, DepEd said that the main protocols and standards in the DepEd-DOH Joint Memorandum Circular 001, series 2021 “shall remain applicable as appropriate.”
For the expansion phase, DepEd said participating schools must have been validated as “compliant” with the standards of School Safety Assessment Tool (SSAT) and these must be located in areas under alert levels 1 and 2 based on the periodic risk assessment by the DOH.
DepEd said that participating schools “may already include other grade levels based on the capacity of schools.”
The Schools or Division of the expansion schools, DepEd said, must have “secured the concurrence” of the Local Chief Executive in the City or Municipality where the expansion school is located. Likewise, the schools “must also have taken the proper coordination” with their respective barangay officials.
DepEd also stressed that students participating in the face-to-face classes “must have the written consent of their parents.”
When it comes to contact time for teaching and learning, DepEd said that expansion schools will be given “flexibility” provided that “meals are not taken in school except during managed recess.”
Moreover, DepEd said that “only vaccinated teachers may participate in the face-to-face classes.”
For the participating learners, DepEd said that only those who were vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) “shall be preferred” for the expansion phase.