Legazpi City – Nine public schools in Bicol Region are all set and ready to join the pilot implementation of the limited face-to-face classes in the country starting November 15, 2021.
The list released by DepEd Central Office includes Sinalongan Elementary School (ES), Gutusan Elementary School, Mary Perpetua E. Brioso National High School in Masbate; Tandarura ES, Balanac ES, Malama ES (Bagacay Extension), Tupas ES and Tiongson ES of Ligao City in Albay and, Buenavista ES in Sorsogon City. They were the first to pass the granular assessment by the DOH and the Inter-Agency Task Force that will be included in the 120 public schools for the pilot testing for the limited face-to-face in the country.
These schools are situated in the remote areas of the communities that are classified as low-risk for COVID-19 by the Department of Health.
DepEd Bicol Director Gilbert Sadsad said that the agency has conducted series of validation and assessment using the School Safety Assessment Tool to ensure safety and preparedness of the schools in preparation for the conduct of the said limited face-to-face classes. He added that all qualified schools have also secured the consent of the concerned local government units and has already coordinated with parents prior to the said pilot implementation.
Consistent to the policy crafted by DepEd and DOH, Director Sadsad explained that the participation of school personnel and learners in the identified schools will be on a voluntary basis. Learners who are qualified according to the guidelines must still provide signed consent from their parents before being allowed to join in the pilot.
Based on the report submitted to the Regional Office, an average of 50% of the total school population per school have expressed their intention to participate in the pilot implementation. In Sinalongan Elementary School in the province of Masbate, a total of 136 learners have submitted parental consent while 43 learners in Gutusan Elementary School and 282 learners in Mary Perpetua Brioso National High School have consented for the limited face-to-face classes.
During its launching on November 15, Director Sadsad said that officials from the Central Office headed by DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali will visit schools in Bicol to monitor the actual situation in the pilot areas.
Meanwhile a team composed from the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Services of DepEd led by Director Ronalida will also conduct Psychological First Aid to students and teachers beginning on the first day of classes.
The pilot implementation of the limited face-to-face classes will run from November 15, 2021 to January 31, 2022.