NOT more than 1,000 students will attend the limited face-to-face (F2F) classes in eight pilot public schools in Cebu Province Monday, Nov. 15, 2021.
Department of Education (DepEd) 7 Director Salustiano Jimenez told SunStar Cebu that the number of students allowed inside the classrooms depends on the number of learners per grade level in a school.
In Kindergarten, only 12 students are allowed inside the classroom; Grades 1 to 3, 16 students; technical and vocational students in senior high school, 12 students; and senior high school, 20 students.
Jimenez said there will be a morning session and an afternoon session in some pilot schools.
The DepEd 7 official said the participation of the students is voluntary. Parents, however, are required to submit a consent form, signifying that they allow their children to join the F2F classes.
“If the parents will not allow their child to join, we will not force them,”Jimenez said.
Children whose parents decided not to let them join the F2F classes will continue with the modalities they were using, like online learning or blended learning.
Since the national government started the pediatric vaccination for ages 12 to 17, Jimenez said only a few students in the senior high school were vaccinated.
All teaching and non-teaching staff are vaccinated, Jimenez assured.
The eight pilot schools in Cebu are Basak Elementary School in Samboan; Cañang-Marcelo Luna National High School in Oslob; Pilar National High School in Camotes; Luyongbaybay Elementary School in Bantayan; Mahanlud Elementary School in Malabuyoc; Busay National High School in Moalboal; Cabagdalan Elementary School in Balamban; and Siocon Elementary School in Bogo City.
With the improving Covid-19 situation in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed schools to conduct limited in-person classes.
All local government units included in the limited F2F classes belong to low-risk areas with no Covid-19 cases.
“That’s one consideration and then it’s the Department of Health (DOH) that has the final approval in their assessment,” he said.
Jimenez also lauded the different local government units, schools and non-governmental organizations that helped the students get ready by donating masks, face shields and alcohol for sanitation.
A joint guideline issued by the DepEd and the Department of Health states the safety protocols that should be implemented is the “Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, and Reintegrate framework, highlighting the importance of availability of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, proper ventilation in classrooms, ensuring that classroom layouts enable physical distancing between persons, prioritization of students who will benefit most from limited face-to-face learning modality, management of foot traffic, and conduct of simulation activities prior to implementation of the pilot, among others.”