90 public schools to push through with pilot face-to-face classes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 25, 2021   •   181

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday confirmed that 90 public schools will push through with the pilot face-to-face classes.

During a virtual press briefing, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones reported that of the 90 public schools identified, 14 schools are in CARAGA; 10 schools each for Regions I, II and VIII; eight schools each for Regions VII, IX, and XI; six schools in Region X; five schools each in Regions IV-A, and XII.

Briones said the department is eyeing to reach 100 schools that will participate in the face-to-face classes on November 15.

“As of now, iyong objective natin na maka-abot ng 100 public schools ay 90 na ang ating na-identify,” she said.

The DepEd secretary also assured that they are coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) in assessing and identifying schools eligible to participate in the pilot run of face-to-face classes.

“In line with the granular risk assessment of schools conducted by the DOH, there are 329 schools that passed the assessment as minimal or low risk,” according to Briones. AAC

DepEd establishes bureau to boost program for out-of-school youths

Robie de Guzman   •   December 8, 2021

The Department of Education (DepEd) said it has established the Bureau of Alternative Education (BAE) in a bid to bolster its program and policies for out-of-school children.

In a statement, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the measure seeks to further ensure effective and efficient implementation of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program.

“This will strengthen our initiatives, programs, and policies for the out-of-school children in special cases, youth, and adults as we ensure their educational continuity for them to be able to develop basic and functional literacy, life skills, and pursue an equivalent pathway to complete basic education,” she said.

Under DepEd’s Department Order 47, series of 2021, BAE will serve as the focal office for implementing the Department’s ALS Program.

It will also strengthen and expand the ALS Program to help increase opportunities for out-of-school children in special cases, youth, and adult learners, including indigenous peoples, persons deprived of liberty, and learners with disabilities.

The power and functions of the bureau are the following:

  • Establish minimum quality standards in the development of the ALS curriculum and learning materials, program planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and management;
  • Promote and ensure certification and accreditation of learners through alternative learning programs;
  • Ensure access to educational opportunities for learners of different interests, learning needs, capabilities, demographic characteristics, and socioeconomic status, who have been unable to complete formal basic education, who have been unable to complete formal basic education;
  • Coordinate with various agencies and industries for skills development;
  • Coordinate, encourage close partnerships and establish linkages with LGUs and the private sector on the sustainable implementation of ALS programs, among others

The DepEd said the BAE will be under the Department’s Curriculum and Instruction (CI) strand, and it will establish appropriate communication and coordination channels and implementation mechanisms within DepEd Central, Regional, and Schools Division Offices for the planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of ALS programs.

“This shows DepEd’s strong commitment to provide education and help out-of-school children in special cases, youth, and adults in achieving their dreams for the betterment of their and their community’s future,” Briones said.

The establishment of the Bureau is in compliance with Republic Act No. 11510, also known as the Alternative Learning System Act, DepEd said.

Pilot face-to-face classes sa ilang paaralan sa NCR, nagsimula na

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Naging maayos ang pagsisimula ng pilot face-to-face classes ngayong Lunes sa ilang paaralan sa National Capital Region (NCR), ayon sa Department of Education (DepEd).

Ayon kay Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan, wala pa silang natatanggap na anumang “adverse report” mula sa 28 paaralang kalahok sa pilot run ng in-person learning matapos ang halos dalawang taong school closures dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic.

“So far, it has been so smooth. We have officials of the department that are on the ground at both the central office and the regions. And up to this time ay I’ve been monitoring and we have not received any adverse report as of now,” ani Malaluan.

Mahigit sa 2,000 estudyante mula Kindergarten hanggang Grade 3 at senior high school ang kalahok sa pilot face-to-face classes sa NCR.

Sa Pasig Central Elementary School, pinadadaan ang mga mag-aaral sa disinfection station para maghugas ng kamay bago pumasok sa silid-aralan.

May temperature check din at foot bath pagpasok sa classroom. May distansya rin ang bawat upuan ng mga bata upang maseguro ang pagpapatupad ng physical distancing.

Ganito rin ang ipinatutupad na health protocols sa Aurora Quezon Elementary School sa Quezon City. Nakapila ang mga estudyante mula sa labas hanggang sa pagpasok sa silid-aralan.

Dumadaan rin sila sa temperature check habang nasa gate pa lang at required silang magsuot ng face shield at face mask.

Sa Comembo Elementary School, may markings rin para sa physical distancing. May inilaan ring jeep ang Makati City government para maghatid sa mga bata sa paaralan mula sa drop off point sa kanilang tirahan.

Sa Ramon Avancena High School naman sa Maynila, sinasanay ang mga estudyante na palagiang magsuot ng face mask. May barrier rin ang bawat lamesa.

Ayon sa DepEd, lahat ng 28 paaralan ang nakapagbukas ng face-to-face classes ngayong araw.

Kuntento rin ang kagawaran sa mga protocol na inilatag ng mga kalahok na paaralan sa NCR.

May schedule lang ang pagsasagawa ng face-to-face learning. Monday-Wednesday-Friday ang schedule ng iba habang meron namang araw-araw pero shifting ang oras ng pagsisimula ng klase kada grade level.

Hanggang apat na oras lang din pinapayagang manatili sa eskwelahan ang mga mag-aaral.

Ang 28 pilot schools sa NCR ay kasama sa halos 300 paaralan sa buong bansa na nagsasagawa ng face-to-face classes.

Nag-umpisa ang programa noong Nobyembre sa 100 public at 18 private schools at nadagdagan ng 174 ngayong Disyembre. (may detalye mula kay Correspondent Janice Ingente)

No COVID-19 case recorded so far in face-to-face classes – DepEd

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – No cases of COVID-19 have been reported so far in public schools participating in the pilot implementation of limited in-person learning, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Tuesday.

“Sa unang linggo po ng ating pagpapatupad ng pilot limited face-to-face ay wala po tayong naitalang kaso ng covid sa mga lugar na ito,” DepEd Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma said in a press briefing.

It has been a week since the department started the pilot testing of face-to-face classes in 100 schools in areas with low-risk classification for COVID-19.

The department, however, noted that some schools found it challenging to get students to strictly adhere to health and safety protocols as some children, especially those in kindergarten, tend to take off their face masks.

Others also tend to forget physical distancing as they interact with their classmates.

“Talagang hirap yung ating mga kindergarten learners na isuot yung kanilang mga maskara sa mahabang panahon, maya’t maya inaalis nung ating maliliit na mag-aaral,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.

But the DepEd said such behavior is expected among children since they are not used to wearing masks for long periods, and they were not allowed to go out of their homes due to the pandemic.

“Dito papasok yung role ng ating mga guro na continuously magpapaalala sa ating mga mag-aaral at sa iba pa na talagang iyong social o physical distancing ang pinakamahalagang bagay para masegurong walang mahahawa,” Garma said.

The DepEd reported that out of 70,000 listed students, over 70 deferred their attendance to physical classes for having flu-like symptoms prior to the program’s implementation.

Briones said these students will not be asked to undergo swab testing.

“Ayaw naman nating i-swab yung mga bata e… We might trigger accidents sinabi ko na yan e tutusukin mo yung (bata), sisipain ka ng bata o sisigaw, wala na. we will create more trauma for the child and also trigger accidents,” she said.

The DepEd earlier said it has prepared a contingency plan with recommended actions for various scenarios, which range from where there is a suspected case presenting symptoms, to a scenario where there is resurgence of COVID-19 cases in multiple barangays. This sets the policy on when schools should impose a lockdown.

Aside from public schools, 20 private schools have also been selected for the program. They started their pilot face-to face classes on November 22.

More schools are expected to participate in the next phase of the limited face-to-face classes, including those in the National Capital Region, depending on the result of DOH’s risk assessment.

The expansion phase is slated to begin by March 2022, based on DepEd’s timeline. (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

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