December 8, 2022

The Department of Education has revised the School Safety Assessment Tool (SSAT) to mobilize and prepare the schools for the safe, effective, and efficient conduct of the progressive expansion of face to face learning.

“We ensure that the health, safety, and wellbeing of our learners, teachers, and personnel remain as our utmost priority. Our revised SSAT will help the department mobilize the progressive expansion of our face to face classes in areas under alert levels 1 and 2,” Sec. Leonor Magtolis Briones said.

The SSAT was updated based on the monitoring and evaluation results of the pilot implementation and in consideration of the schools’ present conditions relevant to safe reopening.

The revised SSAT focuses on four main areas: managing school operations, focusing on teaching and learning, wellbeing and protection, and school-community coordination. These will be used to assess the readiness of the schools to participate in the progressive expansion of face-to-face classes.

Under managing school operations, schools need to receive support from community stakeholders, emphasizing the shared responsibility framework.

They must conduct simulation activities among school personnel regarding managing the conduct of face-to-face classes, and the school must ensure that learners who will participate in the expansion must submit parent’s consent.

For focusing on teaching and learning, the main indicator to guarantee the school’s readiness is securing a sufficient supply of learning resources needed in the expansion and design class programs that cater to both learners in face-to-face class arrangement and distance learning education.

Participating schools must develop strategies to prevent Covid-19 transmission among stakeholders and maintain the provision of basic mental health services and psychosocial support to ensure their well-being and protection.

A school must also develop an implementation plan for coordination with the local government to ensure that health and safety protocols have been observed correctly and for the implementation of school-based immunization, among others.

“Our SSAT will not be the final determinant if a school will participate in our progressive expansion. It is our way to prepare our schools for the eventual reopening and to inform them of the required indicators and standards that they need to meet to ensure the safety of our learners and school personnel,” Briones said.

As of April 18, there are 26,997 schools that were nominated by the regions to participate in the expansion of face-to-face classes.

Of these schools, 23,963 are already implementing the progressive expansion of in-person classes. – Press release