Eighty-eight public schools in Aurora and Nueva Ecija provinces reopened Monday as the Department of Education (DepEd) started the mass expansion of limited face-to-face classes in Central Luzon (Region 3).
May Eclar, director of DepEd Region III, said on Tuesday the first batch of schools that participated in the expansion of limited face-to-face classes include 52 public schools in Aurora and 36 in Nueva Ecija.
Aurora and Nueva Ecija are among the provinces in the region that remained under Alert Level 2 and the conduct of face-to-face classes in basic education is allowed.
Face-to-face classes in areas under Alert Level 3 in the region such as Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Zambales were deferred until January 15, 2022.
Meanwhile, cities in Nueva Ecija, namely Gapan, Cabanatuan, San Jose, and the Science City of Munoz also postponed the reopening of schools as the respective local government units (LGUs) advised the deferment of the conduct of face-to-face classes in their jurisdiction.
“As early as November last year, we directed all public and private schools in the region to conduct their school safety assessment right after the commencement of the pilot implementation of the limited face-to-face classes so that the schools can have enough time to prepare for the mass expansion this January,” Eclar said in social media post.
She said that those schools undertook a comprehensive assessment and validation spearheaded by the DepEd Regional Office, including the accomplishment of the School Safety Assessment Tool (SSAT) followed by the validation and inspection of the Schools Division Offices, validation, monitoring, and provision of technical assistance by the Regional Office.
Following the guidelines provided in the DepEd-DOH Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 s.2021 or the Operational Guidelines on the Implementation of Limited Face-To-Face Learning Modality, schools may offer face to face classes on the following conditions: no coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) case in the barangay within the last 28 days; the school must be accessible by public transportation or by walking; must have secured a documented LGU concurrence; secured parents’ free prior informed consent (FPIC); and have met all the criteria in the SSAT.
Eclar said the number of schools offering in-school education or face-to-face classes will increase as more qualified public schools shall open until January 31, 2022.
10 schools in Zambales have been included in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes that started on November 15, 2021. (PNA)