DepEd: First Day Of F2F Successful
“We consider it very successful. Everybody was excited to see fellow children and visit the school. It’s a wonderful day for everyone for pilot schools. All our planning and preparations paid off,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.
The first day of face-to-face classes was a success after nearly two years of only virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Tuesday, Nov. 16.
DepEd said a total of 97 schools resumed in-person classes on Monday with some 5,000 learners and around 800 teachers trooping back to school grounds.
“We consider it very successful. Everybody was excited to see fellow children and visit the school. It’s a wonderful day for everyone for pilot schools. All our planning and preparations paid off,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a mix of English and Filipino during the “Laging Handa” press briefing.
A total of 6,213 learners have registered to participate in the pilot run, almost close to full participation of the over 8,000 students in the identified schools, DepEd data showed.
The department already identified 20 private schools – three each from Regions 3, 6, 10 and 12 – that will take part in the F2F pilot by Nov. 22, out of total of 79 private schools that applied to join. There was also one school each identified in Regions 1, 7, 9, 11 and Caraga, and two each in Regions 1 and 8.
Briones said they are optimistic they can expand the coverage of the pilot resumption of F2F schools by next year.
President Duterte has approved the DepEd’s request that it and the Department of Health be given authority to expand and identify the number of participating schools for in-person classes.
“By 2022, we hope to further expand. Our aspiration is that the whole system will be allowed,” she added.
The department said it is considering all regions, including Metro Manila, to be included in the F2F classes but the assessment would need to be finished in the 100 schools first. Under the expanded pilot program.
DepEd is looking at one school in each city in Metro Manila.
The DepEd also announced that three public schools in Zambales will resume classes today, Nov. 17, after teachers tested negative for COVID-19 during confirmatory tests.
Antigen tests showed negative results from teachers in Banawen Elementary School in San Felipe, as well as San Marcelino National High School and Baliwet Elementary School in San Marcelino.
Briones said this incident showed that the department is ready to handle all types of contingencies that will arise from F2F classes. Regular testing is included in the F2F framework as the country is still in a pandemic.
“That is included. That is the good thing about the pilot study; it was detected because we tested them. We know that more of our teachers are fully vaccinated. The good thing about these teachers were asymptomatic, it just appeared in the testing,” Briones added.
Still, Briones said they cannot require testing for children as it might be traumatic.
“The experts are not recommending testing, it might be traumatic for the children… For the kids, we are risking accidents, trauma and everything else. What we do is we watch out for symptoms,” she added.