According to Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma on Monday, the Department of Education (DepEd) has yet to choose a school in Metro Manila where face-to-face classes can be pilot-tested amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Garma said in an interview with Unang Balita that they are in constant contact with Metro Manila mayors to identify these schools.
According to Garma, they are targeting one school in each Metro Manila area to participate in the pilot run of face-to-face classes, which began on Monday, November 15, 2021 in several areas.
“So yan muna ang titignan natin at pag-uusapan natin, kung ano yung aktuwal na bilang na maisasama natin sa pilot face-to-face sa National Capital Region,” he said.
Pilot face-to-face classes began on Monday in areas deemed safe by both the DepEd and the Department of Health, subject to strict health protocols. The pilot program drew a total of 100 public schools, with 22 private schools expected to join on November 22.
“We are happy to see our learners inside our classrooms as we recognize the significance of face-to-face learning in their social development,” the DepEd said in a statement on Monday.
More public and private schools are expected to join the pilot program “in the coming weeks,” according to the department.
The initial run of pilot face-to-face classes will be assessed until December 22, 2021. On January 31, 2022, the pilot study will come to an end.
President Rodrigo Duterte will be presented with the results of the pilot testing in February 2022. If everything goes according to plan, expansion will begin on March 7, 2022.
Only 12 students will be physically present in Kidgerten classrooms during the pilot period, 16 in grades 1 to 3, and 20 in grades 4 to 12. A maximum of 20 students will be physically present in the laboratory and workshops.
For students to be able to attend classes, they must have parental consent.
Only fully vaccinated teachers and staff members will be allowed into schools, according to the Department of Education.
No NCR schools picked yet for pilot in-person classes —DepEd exec|GMANews