DepEd proposes pilot run of limited face-to-face classes for Kinder to Grade 3

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has proposed a pilot run of limited face-to-face classes that will focus on learners from Kindergarten to Grade 3 levels.

The proposal comes after over a year of pausing face-to-face classes and shifting to distance learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

DepEd proposes pilot run of limited face-to-face classes
PHOTO CREDIT: DepEd Philippines

During the Laging Handa briefing on Monday, September 6, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said schools will not be fully operational during the pilot test. According to Malaluan, only 12 learners from Kindergarten and a maximum of 16 learners in Grade 1 to 3 levels will be allowed to attend the limited face-to-face classes.

“Dahil sa rekomendasyon ng DOH at medical experts na ating kinonsulta ay mag-focus lamang po tayo doon sa first key stage, 'yung kindergarten,” Malaluan explained.

He added that classes, which will only be conducted for three hours, will reinforce activities to what will still be mainly distance learning.

If President Rodrigo Duterte gives his approval, at least 120 schools in areas identified as “low risk” for COVID-19 will participate in the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes.

A joint issuance crafted by the Department of Health (DOH) and the DepEd will be presented by the latter during a Cabinet meeting next week. It remains unclear if the pilot run will be conducted on the first day of classes, which will begin on September 13, should Duterte allow it. The joint circular was approved by the government’s coronavirus taskforce, according to Malaluan.

The Philippines is among the five countries which have not yet reopened schools since the pandemic started in March 2020. Aside from the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Kuwait and Venezuela are yet to decide to reopen schools.

According to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef), millions of Filipino children will continue to miss education opportunities because of another year of remote learning.

— Mini, The Summit Express

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