DepEd to observe ‘extreme caution’ with dry run of physical classes

by Rjay Zuriaga Castor

MANILA, Philippines– The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday assured parents, students and teachers that it will exercise “extreme caution” on the planned conduct of limited face-to-face classes next year in areas deemed with low-risk of COVID-19 transmission.


The DepEd said it recognizes the challenges and risks with the pilot testing of limited in-person classes on January 2021 amid the ongoing COVID-19 scare in the country.

“While the end of the pandemic is in sight, our utmost priority remains the same: to protect our teachers and learners,” DepEd said. “It is precisely why we are approaching this pilot implementation with extreme caution."

The DepEd reiterated it would be “highly selective” about schools that would participate in the pilot implementation.

DepEd also reiterated it would be “highly selective” about schools that would participate in the pilot implementation.

DepEd also underscored the presence of commitment for “shared responsibility” of the agency, local government unit, parents or guardians, transport and service providers, and other education stakeholders for gradual resumption of face-to-face classes.

“Health standards will be strictly enforced on school premises, during travel, and at home. Participation of learners will also be voluntary, with requisite permit from parents,” DepEd said.

“Face-to-face classes will be conducted under staggered or intermittent schedule and class size will be reduced to allow proper physical distancing in the classroom,” it added. 

Infections "lowest" in schools

Citing a UNICEF report, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said there is a lower threat of coronavirus infection in schools than at homes,

“Sinasabi na lahat ng pag-aaral nagpapakita na ang pinaka-lowest threat ay sa schools,” Briones said in a televised Laging Handa Public Briefing.

In coming up with recommendations, DepEd said it reviewed various international, local health studies and also consulted experts. 

“We have also proactively consulted representatives from different sectors in our data-driven and risk-informed approach,” it said. 

DepEd also expressed its gratitude to UNICEF for supporting the government’s decision to greenlight the pilot implementation in low-risk areas. 

1,114 schools have so far been nominated for the pilot face-to-face classes dry run next month. 

President Rodrigo Duterte last December 14, during Monday's Cabinet meeting approved the DepEd’s proposal to conduct a dry run of face-to-face classes.



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