(DepEd secretary Leonor Briones || File image


President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Department of Education (DepEd) to conduct “limited face-to-face classes” in low risks areas in the country.

In a press briefing held Tuesday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed that President Duterte has already approved the recommendation of the DepEd allowing the conduct of limited face-to-face classes.

According to Roque, the limited face-to-face classes will be allowed starting January 2021 only in areas classified as “low risk” or those already at least under modified general community quarantine or in the transition phase between general community quarantine and the new normal

Private schools that have started limited face-to-face classes last June will be allowed to continue, according to Roque.

Decisions to allow limited, localized face-to-face classes will be made with due coordination between the Department of Education, the concerned local government units and the local health authorities.

Stringent health standards will be followed including a “no mask, no entry policy” in school premises, hand washing and hand hygiene, regular disinfection in school premises, checking of temperature, and respiratory symptoms.

Class sizes will also be limited to 15 or until 20 students, and the physical arrangement of seats is conforming to required distances.

Briones said during the press briefing that face to face classes will also be approved by Local Government Units and various relevant agencies.

“Hindi para sa lahat ang face-to-face classes, [dahil] meron tayong standards. Hindi lahat ay pinipilit mag-[limited] face-to-face classes,” she said.

Secretary Leonor Briones added that the conduct of face-to-face classes will only be held once or twice a week with the support of the local government through the Special Education Fund.

Meanwhile, the Palawan division office of the DepEd said they will await the guidelines that will come from their central office.

“Ang bawat munisipyo ay may local IATF at sila ang mag-aapprove ng mga schools na pwede ang face-to face classes base sa requirements at ang aming Schools Division Superintendent na si Natividad P. Bayubay, CESO VI, ang magbibigay ng recommending approval sa DepEd MIMAROPA Regional Office. Lahat ng ginagawa natin ay laging may approval ng IATF,” she said.