TWELVE public elementary and high schools in Cebu Province have passed the risk and readiness assessment for the two-month pilot run of limited face-to-face (F2F) classes beginning Nov. 15, 2021.
Four of these schools, however, have yet to comply with all the requirements, according to Dr. Marilyn Andales, Schools Division Superintendent for Cebu Province.
These are the schools in Balamban, Malabuyoc, Moalboal and Oslob.
“I’ll be working with the LGU (local government unit) of these four schools,” she said.
A total of 120 schools are expected to participate in the pilot run, which will be held from Nov. 15, 2021 to Jan. 31, 2022.
As of Wednesday, Oct. 6. 59 schools have passed the assessment. The participating schools must be located in a low-risk area and must have endorsements from the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) and LGU based on the joint memorandum of the Department of Health and Department of Education.
“We need the support of the parents to ensure that the kids are protected against the coronavirus while commuting to and from school,” Andales said.
Other schools that will participate in the pilot run are located in Masbate, Aklan, Antique, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sarangani and Cotabato.
Participating learners will be from kindergarten, grades 1 to 3 and technical vocational students in senior high school.
In a Senate hearing Wednesday, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the pilot run will be assessed by the end of December.
By February 2022, the DepEd will present to President Rodrigo Duterte the results of the pilot run and the recommendation to expand the in-person classes.
Malaluan said the expanded implementation of face-to-face classes will begin on March 7, 2022.
Face-to-face classes have been suspended since March 2020 as part of preventive measures against Covid-19, although higher education institutions were allowed in January 2021 to hold in-person classes for the medicine and allied medicine programs.
Both the DOH and DepEd have required all teachers and non-teaching personnel who will participate in the pilot run to get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas said they were still waiting for the guidelines on the vaccination of adolescents 12 to 17 years old.
“We are excited to start the vaccination for our children. The Delta variant has really displayed more vulnerabilities of the pediatric population,” Bernadas said.
The Visayas Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) also said it was awaiting the pilot vaccination of minors in Metro Manila to cascade to Cebu.
“But Project Balik Buhay (PBB) already has their junior program,” VVOC spokesperson Mary Jean Loreche said.
The PBB junior vaccination program is intended to help facilitate the vaccination of children 12 to 17 years old who are dependents of employees or members of PBB-registered companies and organizations.
Loreche urged local government units to start registration of eligible minors.
The Philippines has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for those aged 12 to 17. (ANV, JOB, SUNSTAR PHILIPPINES)