The Department of Education has approved the conduct of face-to-face classes in 20 pilot schools in the Cordillera starting on Nov. 29.
DepEd-Cordillera Director Estela Cariño said her office has submitted the list based on the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to expand the pilot schools nationwide.
Mountain Province has the highest number of approved schools for limited face-to-face classes with nine public schools; Tabuk City, Kalinga with three; and two each for Abra, Benguet, Kalinga, and Ifugao.
“We have limited it to 20 schools that are compliant.We will consider increasing the number of schools next year,” Cariño said.
The approved schools in Mountain Province are Gayang Elementary School in Sabangan; Masla ES, Maket-an ES, Dacudac ES, Cagubatan ES and Lubon National High School, all in Tadian; Gonogon ES and Dalican ES in Bontoc; and Monamon Proper ES in Bauko.
In Tabuk City, Kalinga, the schools are San Pablo Integrated School and Toppan Integrated School.
In Abra, chosen schools are the Dalit NHS in Pilar and Mabungtot ES in Langiden while schools in Benguet are the Ja’pa ES and Naguey ES, both in Atok.
The chosen schools in Ifugao are the Asipulo NHS and Haliap ES in Asipulo while the schools in Kalinga are Liyang ES in Tanudan and Bonnong ES in Southern Pinukpuk.
No school in Baguio and Apayao complied with the guidelines set by DepEd.
Cariño said the schools are under minimal risk areas and have secured consent from the local government units and have accomplished the school safety assessment tool that includes the physical arrangement of the classroom and presence of personal protective equipment.
The teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools approved to conduct face-to-face classes are fully vaccinated.
The Department of Health also noted there is no need for the plastic barriers in the classroom to give more ventilation for the students and teachers.
DepEd started on Nov. 15 the conduct of limited face-to-face classes for 100 public schools followed by 20 private schools nationwide on Nov. 22.
More schools are expected to be included in the implementation soon with the rising number of vaccinated individuals against the Covid-19 nationwide. – Ofelia C. Empian