DepEd allows limited in-person classes

By Mar S. Arguelles


The Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol has announced that it has allowed over 1,000 public and private schools to implement the limited in-person (face-to-face) classes across the region beginning this March this year.


DepEd Bicol Director Gilbert Sadsad confirmed that the Regional Management Committee has given the green light for the 986 public schools and 43 private schools to implement the progressive expansion of the limited in-person classes in Bicol.


Sadsad said that all expansion schools have passed the School Safety Assessment Test (SSAT) and have complied with the Interim Guidelines on the Expansion of Limited Face-to-Face Classes set by the DepEd Central Office.


In Bicol, the 986 public schools allowed to hold limited in-person classes represent 33 percent of the over 3,000 public schools in the region.


Based on the latest data, the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Camarines Sur has the largest number of participating schools for the expansion with a total of 366 schools; followed by Camarines Norte with 258 schools, Masbate with 156 schools, Catanduanes with 87 schools, Sorsogon with 44 schools, Sorsogon City with 39 schools, Ligao City with 15 schools, Masbate City with 11 schools, Albay with 4 schools, and Naga City, 3 schools.


Meanwhile, DepEd Bicol has also approved requests from various private schools in the region to adopt and implement the limited face-to-face modality. A total number of 43 private schools were permitted to implement the arrangement consisting of 18 schools in Camarines Norte, eight schools in Sorsogon City, seven schools in Camarines Sur, seven schools in Catanduanes, three schools in Masbate, two schools in Ligao City, and one school each from Masbate City and Naga City.


Under the guidelines, expansion schools are required to pass the SSAT standards, be in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2, obtain the local government unit’s concurrence, and have acquired written consent of the parents or guardians of the learners intending to participate and coordinate with respective barangays for collaborative implementation of the onsite learning modality.


The expansion schools would hold three to four classes with only 12 learners in a given day while the other learners would continue on their blended learning modules.


In the expansion program, some teachers have already conducted dry runs and orientation and meetings with parents, local government units, and other stakeholders on the operational dynamics and interplay between distance learning and face-to-face classes.