DepEd suggests ‘progressive expansion’ of limited in-person classes by February

The Universidad de Manila (UDM) will start conducting face-to-face classes for nursing and physical therapy (PT) students starting Nov. 18.

Medical technology students work in a laboratory as limited face-to-face classes resume at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila on Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of a government plan to pilot face-to-face primary and secondary classes on Nov. 15 in COVID-19 low-risk areas. (File photo by JAM STA ROSA / Agence France-Presse)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte a “progressive expansion” of limited face-to-face classes by February in which only vaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff will be allowed to participate.

During a meeting with Cabinet officials aired late Monday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones laid out the department’s recommendations in terms of physical classes.

“Our recommendation, Mr. President, is progressive expansion — and not allowing everything all at the same time,” Briones said in Filipino.

Her presentation showed that the expansion would be for schools in areas under Alert Level 1 and 2.

According to the DepEd chief, only vaccinated teaching and non-teaching personnel will be allowed to participate.

Meanwhile, she said that vaccinated learners would be preferred as participants.

Briones said DepEd’s pilot run of face-to-face classes, which ended on Dec. 22, was “highly successful.”

Results from DepEd’s post-survey following the implementation of the pilot showed a “high feeling of safety” among learners, teachers, and parents, Briones said in her presentation to the president.

The pilot run was held in 287 schools and involved around 15,000 learners, the secretary said.


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