Some 695 learners and teachers in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) will be participating in the pilot implementation of the limited face-to-face (F2F) classes that will open on November 15.
Dr. Carlito Rocafort, director of the Department of Education (DepEd)-Region 12, said they have already finalized the preparations as of Wednesday in the five public schools that will be holding classroom-based classes for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in March last year.
He said the selected schools have fully complied with all the requirements set by their central office and the Department of Health (DOH) in line with its rollout.
These are the Bato Elementary School in Makilala and Paco National High School in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato; Ned National High School in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; Nelmida Elementary School in Koronadal City; and, Aspang Elementary School in this city.
“With regards to physical preparation and updates, we can safely say that the five schools are 100 percent ready for the Nov. 15 opening of pilot limited face-to-face classes,” Rocafort said in a report.
The official said they already obtained approval from the concerned local government units and concerned stakeholders for the holding of the traditional classroom-based classes.
The local government of Kidapawan has released some PHP600,000 from its Special Education Fund as additional support to the initiative.
Citing reports from the school divisions and heads of the participating schools, Rocafort said all 633 learners were given permits or consents by their parents.
The five schools are specifically prepared in terms of school operations management, shared responsibility aspect, implementation of alternative work arrangement, classroom layout and structure, and school traffic management.
The schools have fully adopted the necessary protective measures, hygiene practices and safety procedures, communication strategy, and contingency plans.
Rocafort said he has personally visited and checked the preparations of the concerned schools for the limited face-to-face classes.
He said they recently visited Bato Elementary School in Makilala, a far-flung school, and observed their readiness and simulation of the face-to-face classes.
The classes will be held in temporary learning shelters built by the local government since the school was “totally wiped out” by a landslide that occurred during an earthquake in late 2019, he said.
Rocafort said Nelmida Elementary School, an indigenous people (IP) school, has been issued with a permit by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and approval from the local council of elders.
During a visit at Ned National High School, he said Lake Sebu Mayor Floro Gandam signified intention to open more schools situated in areas considered as low risk to Covid-19 to expand the limited face-to-face classes.
Rocafort reiterated that the upcoming classes will only be limited and will cover the Kinder to Grade 3 levels in the elementary and Grades 11 and 12 or senior high school in the secondary.
At the elementary level, Nelmida will have 12 classes daily while Aspang and Bato will have four each.
At least 10 classes will open at the senior high school of Paco National High School, and four in Ned National High School.
Of the 62 participating teachers, 55 or 88.71 percent are already fully vaccinated while the remaining seven are scheduled for inoculation.
Four of the teachers, one of them pregnant, are in line for vaccination while the three others are waiting for their second dose.
DepEd-12 has jurisdiction over eight provincial and city school divisions, with a total enrolment for this school year of 1,161,031.
The agency earlier endorsed at least 24 schools in the region for the pilot limited face-to-face classes but only five received approval from their respective local governments. (PNA)