18 private schools start pilot face-to-face classes

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2021   •   450

MANILA, Philippines – Selected private schools from various regions with low-risk for COVID-19 have started their pilot implementation of the face-to-face classes, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday.

The DepEd said 18 out of 20 private schools were able to push through with the pilot in-person classes on Monday. The two schools deferred their classes due to issues with the academic calendar.

Students participating in the program were able to follow health and safety protocols such as undergoing body temperature check, foot bath, and hand washing.

School personnel in personal protective equipment were also assisting the students to ensure they are observing physical distancing.

“Nakita ko ang kahandaan ng ating mga paaralan at ang pagtutulungan ng mga paaralan at ng mga local na pamahalaan,” said Jocelyn Andaya, director of DepEd’s Bureau of Curriculum Development.

Meanwhile, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) said it has requested DepEd for access to the process of monitoring and assessing the pilot in-person classes.

Attorney Joseph Noel Estrada, managing director of COCOPEA said this is to guide them in preparing for the reopening of the private schools from their association.

“Kami ay humiling din sa DepEd na kami ay payagan sa kanilang paglilibot or kahit virtually kami ay payagan ng access dun sa pagmo-monitor nila para makita namin yung actual implementation hindi lang dun sa 20 private schools kundi sa nag-participate din na mga public school para kami ay makakuha din ng inputs, makapag suggest ng mga pagbabago pagdating natin dun sa expanded phase ng limited face-to-face,” he said.

Estrada said three private schools that are members of COCOPEA were among those that piloted the limited face-to-face classes.

He added that more private schools, particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR) are just awaiting DepEd’s directive to resume physical classes.

“Tinitignan natin muna kung ano yung mangyayari dito sa pilot testing para mapaghandaan natin yung next phase ng implementation,” he said.

“Maraming nakaabang na once ma-expand na nga yung implementation sa mga ibang regions, lalo na dun sa may mga urban areas in fact sa NCR may mga ilang eskwelahan na naghihintay na lang na payagan din,” he added.

The pilot in-person classes in 100 public schools kicked off last November 15. (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

COVID-19 vax requirement for teachers handling in-person classes not discriminatory – DepEd

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday said its policy requiring teachers and non-teaching personnel involved in the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is not discriminatory.

In a statement, the DepEd reiterated its earlier statement that the policy is being implemented as a way of protecting students and personnel, as well as preventing the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

“The said policy does not and is not intended to unjustly discriminate against any DepEd employee who chooses not to be vaccinated,” the department said.

The DepEd said employees who are not vaccinated are “treated fairly” as they are still obliged to render work and receive compensation based on applicable alternative work arrangements.

The department also said it does not terminate employees on the sole ground of being unvaccinated.

It added that the policy is consistent with the government’s resolutions as well as Civil Service rules and regulations.

“This policy, particularly the requirement for teachers, with non-teaching personnel, handling face-to-face classes and performing in-school functions/tasks to be vaccinated, has been approved by the Office of the President,” the DepEd said.

“This is also in line with the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution Nos. 148B and 149 s. 2021, on the requirement for vaccination or negative RT-PCR result or antigen test result (if RT-PCR capacity is insufficient) for employees working on-site, in areas that have sufficient supply of vaccines as determined by the National Vaccines Operation Center,” it added.

The pilot in-person classes was implemented by DepEd in select schools in the country last year.

About 278 schools with over 15,000 students from Grades 1 to 3 and senior high school participated in the pilot run.

The DepEd earlier recommended the “progressive expansion” of face-to-face classes in areas under COVID-19 Alert Levels 1 and 2, which means that only select schools in areas classified as low-risk for COVID-19 will be allowed to resume classes.

The agency is eyeing to start the progressive expansion of limited classes in February.

DepEd eyes expansion of in-person classes by February

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has recommended the “progressive expansion” of face-to-face classes in areas under COVID-19 Alert Levels 1 and 2 starting next month.

During a pre-taped meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte aired on Monday night, Education Secretary Leonor Briones explained that the expansion of the pilot physical classes will be progressive, which means that only select schools in areas classified as low-risk for COVID-19 will be allowed to resume classes.

“Hindi ‘yung lahat-lahat sabay-sabay. Kung ang isang lugar ay Alert Level 1 and 2, selective, puwedeng mag-expand ng face-to-face,” Briones said.

The DepEd chief said the expansion of face-to-face classes will start in February, with the concurrence of the local government units (LGU) and parents’ consent.

“Iyong framework ng shared responsibility, patuloy. Iyong pag-concur ng LGUs, alam na alam namin ito, conscious kami at saka parents’ consent, requirement pa rin, Mr. President. Hindi kami mag-e-expand ng basta-basta na hindi kami mangangatok sa local governments at saka hindi namin makuha iyong written consent ng mga parents,” Briones said in her report to the president.

“Iyon ang aming proposal, Mr. President. February ang pag-e-expand pero maingat pa rin, taking into consideration the advice of the Department of Health, the LGUs, as well as now the Department of Justice,” she added.

Briones reiterated that only fully vaccinated teachers and non-teaching personnel will be allowed to join the face-to-face classes. Participation of vaccinated students will also be preferred.

“Ang sabi namin, only vaccinated teachers and non-teaching personnel na vaccinated will participate kung tayo ay mag-implement ng faceto-face. At saka ‘yung participation ng vaccinated students, kasi in-announce na ni (vaccine czar) Secretary (Carlito) Galvez na by March, by April, mag-umpisa na tayo sa mga bata, iyon preferred natin ‘yun. So iyon ang aming proposal, Mr. President,” she said.

Briones said 278 schools with about 15,000 students participated in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes last year.

Around 28 schools from Metro Manila joined the program last December but its resumption was suspended earlier this January due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the region.

Other regions with high coronavirus infections also suspended limited in-person classes but classes in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 have continued.

The DepEd earlier allowed schools and local education offices to suspend classes for up to two weeks over rising COVID-19 cases.

DepEd NCR nagdeklara ng health break mula Enero 15 to 22

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Nagdeklara ng academic health break ang regional office ng Department of Education (DepEd) para sa National Capital Region (NCR) sa gitna ng dumaraming bilang ng mga nagkakasakit dahil sa COVID-19.

Sa inilabas na memorandum order, sinabi ng DepEd-NCR na suspindido muna ang klase sa lahat ng antas sa basic education mula Eneroi 15 hanggang 22.

Muling babalik ang klase sa Enero 24 hanggang 29 pero limitado lang muna ito sa distance learning modalities gaya ng online schooling, module at DepEd TV.

Hindi rin required ang pisikal na pagpasok sa paaralan ng mga guro.

Gayunman, dapat gamitin na lang ng mga estudyante at guro ang kanilang midyear break mula Enero 31 hanggang Pebrero 5 para sa makeup clasess upang mabawi ang mga backlog sa aralin.

Nakatakda naman ang second quarter examinations para sa Pebrero 7 at 8.

Una nang binigyan ng kapangyarihan ng DepEd ang regional at school division offices na magdesisyon ukol sa suspensyon ng klase bunsod ng tumataas na kaso ng COVID-19.

“kung ang pagtataya ng ating Local Officials Regional Director Level or Division or even at the School Level ay kailangan magsuspinde ng klase o ng if not the full class ay learning activities then we are authorizing maximum of two weeks at a time subject to reporting at kung mas mahaba pa dun ay kailangang ikonsulta sa amin kung maaring pahintulutan ito,” ani DepEd Undersecretary Noel Nepomuceno.

Samantala, nasa diskresyon naman ng mga pribadong paaralan kung kailan sila magsususpinde ng klase.

Maliban sa NCR, nagdeklara na rin ng class suspension ang DepEd CALABARZON mula Enero 17 hanggang 29.

Ang pamahalaan naman ng Antipolo City sa Rizal ay nagdeklara rin ng health break sa kaparehong petsa.

Nauna nang nagdeklara ng health break ang pamahalaang lungsod ng Maynila simula ngayong Biyernes, Enero 14 hanggang 21.

Layunin ng deklarasyon na mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga guro at mag-aaral na makapagpahinga, lalo na ang mga may karamdaman. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

 

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