The expansion phase of limited face-to-face classes eyed to start in the first week of February will only include vaccinated participants, the Department of Education (DepEd) said.

(Photo from DepEd)

During President Duterte’s Talk to the People aired on Monday, Jan. 17, Education Secretary Leonor Briones gave updates on the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes and its possible expansion by next month.

Briones reported to the President that the pilot run of face-to-face classes held from Nov. 15 to Dec. 22 had been “highly successful” given the “high level of attendance” among students.

A total of 287 schools and 15,000 learners participated in the pilot run. Briones said that there were “no confirmed” coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases among the participants during the pilot implementation.

Given the positive outcome of the pilot run, Briones said that the DepEd is recommending the “progressive expansion” of face-to-face classes in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2.

“Expansion will commence not earlier than the first week of February,” Briones said.

During the expansion phase, the DepEd is recommending that only vaccinated teachers and non-teaching personnel be allowed to participate.

Briones added that the “participation of vaccinated students shall be preferred.”

She noted that the framework of shared responsibility that includes the concurrence of local government units (LGUs) and parents’ consent “will remain a requirement.”

However, Briones clarified that those schools under Alert Level 3 areas — such as the National Capital Region (NCR) and Region IV-A — will not be included in the expansion phase due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in these places.

Source: Manila Bulletin (