99.99% of Central Visayas public schools implement full F2F classes

AMID reports of some public schools requesting to remain in blended learning, the top official of the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd 7) said practically all schools had implemented full face-to-face classes on Wednesday, Nov. 2, as scheduled.

DepEd 7 Director Salustiano Jimenez said almost all schools in Central Visayas, or 99.99 percent of them, had implemented full face-to-face classes.

He said the remaining less than one percent that will continue to implement blended learning pertains to Bohol, particularly in Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School, where some of the classrooms have not been fully turned over yet.

But he said they would immediately shift to full face-to-face classes once the turnover is completed before the school year ends.

Invested

For private schools, Jimenez said 75 percent had shifted to full face-to-face classes. But he reiterated that private schools could opt to continue implementing blended learning or online classes as stated in DepEd Order 34 series of 2022.

“Especially, some private schools have already invested in equipment for online learning. They are already paying or in contract with their suppliers for the internet, among others. But we encourage them to have blended learning so that students could have physical contact... interactions with their teachers,” said Jimenez.

Jimenez also said the official return of the full face-to-face classes has so far been smooth, and he said he had not received reports of any concerns and issues as of press time.

Under DepEd Order 44 issued last Oct. 17, all public schools must transition to five-day-a-week in-person classes starting Nov. 2, unless they are expressly provided an exemption by the regional director and unless they had already been implementing alternative delivery modes under pre-coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic guidelines, including those under the homeschooling program.

Private schools, on the other hand, have three options: (a) five days of in-person classes, (b) full distance learning, or (c) blended learning, defined as three days of in-person classes and two days of distance learning (modular, online or television/radio-based instruction); and thereafter, four days of in-person classes and one day of distance learning.

The back-to-school order comes after a two-year break from in-person classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week, Dr. Melissa Torrefiel, a senior teacher at the Talima Elementary School in Barangay Talima, Olango Island in Lapu-Lapu City, had told SunStar that the school could not implement full face-to-face classes as majority of its classrooms remained unrepaired after Typhoon Odette (Rai).

It is unclear if the school made a formal request to the DepEd for exemption.

In Mandaue City, the national high schools in Barangays Pagsabungan, Tipolo, Canduman and Paknaan also requested DepEd to allow them to continue to use blended learning methods as some of them still lacked classrooms or had classrooms that remained unrepaired after Odette.

Jimenez turned down the four Mandaue schools’ request for exemption from full face-to-face classes, asking them to just find a way to accommodate all the learners.