The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH) have devised methods to safeguard the safety of participating students, teachers, and non-teaching personnel, as well as their families in the proposed face-to-face classes.
The pilot program will target Key Stage 1 students (Kinder to Grade 3) who have passed the DepEd and local governments’ School Readiness Assessment. The DepEd and DOH worked together to create an operational guideline for the pilot deployment of face-to-face learning.
“Our utmost priority is the health and safety of our learners and teachers while ensuring that learning happens and learning gaps are addressed. We have been proactive in planning for safe return to schools. The operational guideline for the pilot run of face-to-face classes is a product of our collaboration with DOH, in consultation with various stakeholders, including child health experts. This will only be applicable for the schools that passed the strict vetting process by DepEd and DOH, and have the support of their respective local government units,” said Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.
Sec. Briones noted that the pilot will blend face-to-face and distance instruction.
The guideline specifies standards for school re-opening preparation. In addition to providing WASH facilities, it ensures proper ventilation in classrooms, physical separation between students and teachers, prioritizing students who will benefit most from limited face-to-face learning, managing foot traffic, and conducting simulation activities prior to implementation of the pi.
DepEd also created a contingency plan with suggested actions. The circumstances range from a suspected case with symptoms to a comeback of COVID-19 cases in many barangays. This dictates when schools should lockdown.
“With the help of DOH and other local partners, we will soon orient those who will be involved in the pilot run and coordinate with them regarding the prioritization of their vaccination in case our participating teachers and other non-teaching personnel haven’t completed their vaccines yet,” Sec. Briones added.
The agencies also agreed that teachers participating in the program should be COVID-19 immunized.