LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Education in Bicol (DepEd-5) said it has started to open face-to-face (F2F) classes in the region and expects more schools to join.
Mayflor Marie Jumamil, DepEd-5 spokesperson, said they expect an increase in the number of schools that will implement limited F2F classes if the region will remain under Alert Level 2 community quarantine status.
However, she said the opening of in-school classes is not simultaneously done in at least 1,029 schools across Bicol.
“May nag-start na, may next week pa. Hindi po sabay sabay pero within this month mag-i-start sila. (Some have started, others will start next week. It is not simultaneous but it will be this March),” Jumamil said.
She said more schools intend to open their doors to students and are currently preparing and complying with the required assessment.
In a statement, DepEd-5 Director Gilbert Sadsad said “all expansion schools have passed the School Safety Assessment Test (SSAT) and complied with the interim guidelines on the expansion of limited F2F classes set by the DepEd central office.”
Under the guidelines, schools are required to pass the SSAT standards, be in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2, obtain the local government unit’s (LGU) concurrence, and have acquired the written consent of parents or guardians of the learners intending to participate, and coordinate with their respective barangays for collaborative implementation of the onsite learning modality.
As of last February 24, there were already 986 public schools and 43 private schools allowed to join the progressive expansion of the limited F2F classes in the region. There could even be more now.
Sadsad said some teachers have dry runs and orientation meetings with parents, LGUs, and other stakeholders on the operational dynamics and interplay between distance learning and face-to-face classes. Other schools have also conducted Brigada Eskwela to prepare the school facilities for the safe re-opening of classes.
He said there are schools that are currently under SSAT validation of the Department of Health and are also requesting approval from the regional office and their respective LGUs. (With a report from Glydel Sarcia/PNA-OJT)