DepEd issues guidelines for 'progressive expansion' of face-to-face classes after alert level downgrade
The Department of Education (DepEd) has authorized its regional offices to continue the implementation of limited face-to-face classes of the original pilot schools this Feb. 9 following the de-escalation of the alert levels of Metro Manila and other areas.
In an office order dated Feb. 2 that was publicized Feb. 3, DepEd outlined certain parameters to allow the commencement of the "progressive expansion phase" for both public and private schools:
- Expansion schools have been validated as compliant with the standards of School Safety Assessment Tool or SSAT;
- Schools must be in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2, based on the periodic risk assessment of the Department of Health;
- Schools may already include other grade levels based on the capacity of schools;
- Schools or division must have secured the concurrence of the Local Chief Executive in the City or municipality where the expansion school is located, and the schools must also have taken the proper coordination with their respective barangay officials;
- Students participating in the face-to-face classes must have the written consent of their parents;
- Schools are given flexibiliity in contact time for teaching and learning, provided that meals are not taken in school except during managed recess, and;
- Only vaccinated teachers may participate, and vaccinated learners shall be preferred.
During a meeting with regional directors on the night of Feb. 2, DepEd Sec. Leonor Briones said there will be 28 pilot schools in Metro Manila that would resume classes on Feb. 9. Expansion schools will follow suit during the same day onwards.
Briones also noted that 12 schools in Batanes will start their limited face-to-face classes next week, while 57 schools in Calabarzon, 21 in Rizal, and 36 in Cavite will resume classes on Feb. 14. Sixteen schools from Eastern Visayas will also participate in the "progessive expansion" of classes on Valentine's Day.
A total of 106 schools in Bulacan, meanwhile, have already geared up for class resumption by Feb. 21, according to the education secretary.
The Inter-Agency Task Force has de-escalated Metro Manila, Batanes, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Biliran, Southern Leyte, and Basilan to Alert Level 2 from Feb. 1 to 15.
Here's the list of the updated alert levels in the country.