DepEd-GenSan eyes expansion of F2F classes

BREAK. A Grade 2 learner of Aspang Elementary School in Barangay San Jose, General Santos takes a meal break following her initial morning face-to-face classes, which entered the second day on Tuesday (Nov. 16, 2021). The school has four classes per day for the 105 participating learners from kinder to Grade 3. (PNA photo by Richelyn Gubalani)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Education personnel here are studying the possible expansion of the limited face-to-face (F2F) classes in several other public schools, an official said on Tuesday.

Romelito Flores, the Department of Education (DepEd) city division superintendent, disclosed the move following the “successful” opening of the pilot in-person classes at the Aspang Elementary School (AES) in Barangay San Jose on Monday.

He said the resumption of the F2F classes, which came after a year of suspension due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, is so far smooth and orderly.

“We’re currently conducting an assessment for its possible expansion in other schools,” he said in an interview.

Flores said the evaluation covers public elementary, junior, and senior high schools, especially in areas that are already considered as low-risk to Covid-19.

He said it is based on the DepEd’s school safety assessment tool, which mainly determines the school’s readiness to conduct limited F2F classes.

The DepEd central office and the Department of Health (DOH) have set at least four requirements for a school’s eligibility to hold the limited in-person classes.

These are the concurrence and approval from the local Inter-Agency Task Force against Covid-19 as well as the city, municipal, and barangay governments; permit or consent from parents; fully vaccinated participating teachers; and the schools’ readiness in terms of compliance with the DOH protocols.

Early this year, the DepEd city division also identified the Aspang High School, also in Barangay San Jose, for the pilot in-person classes but only AES was included in the final list.

The AES has four classes per day for the 105 participating learners from kinder to Grade 3.

Flores said the in-person classes are limited to four hours per day, with each class only having 12 learners to ensure safe physical distancing.

He said the school is strictly adhering to standard health protocols, especially the wearing of face masks, and it has installed handwashing facilities and a temperature scanner.

Sheila Villanueva, a Grade 2 teacher at AES, said in an interview that she was happy that the pilot F2F classes have finally pushed through.

She said she is aware of the risks they are facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic but thinks the resumption of classroom-based learning shows that it can be done under the new normal.

Villanueva, who travels at least two hours daily to get to school, expressed hope that F2F classes will be sustained.

“It’s all worth it after seeing the smiles of our learners,” she said. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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