80 schools in Western Visayas ready for expanded face-to-face classes – DepEd

Eighty (80) schools in Western Visayas are ready to implement the expanded face-to-face classes, according to the Department of Education Region 6 (DepEd 6).

Hernani Escullar Jr. information officer of DepEd 6 said the 80 schools will hold face-to-face classes once the quarantine classification in their areas slide to Alert Level 2 or Alert Level 1.

DepEd 6 Regional Director Dr. Ramir Uytico has announced in a virtual press conference last Friday that they have submitted to the Central Office the 80 schools that are ready for the implementation for the expanded limited face-to-face classes.

Out of the 80 schools, 60 are in Negros Occidental, 9 in Antique, 5 in Iloilo province, 4 in Aklan, and 1 each in Guimaras and Capiz.

The 80 schools are different from the 20 schools that participated in the pilot implementation of the limited face-to-face classes in the region.

According to Escullar, the recommendation was made by DepEd last year when the identified areas of the school were under the Alert Level 1 classification.

“The recommendation was made before pa. Sadto pa na yara pa lang sa Alert Level 1 ang mga areas because indi kita makahiwat face-to-face classes in areas under Alert Level 3 or higher,” he said in an interview with Radyo Pilipinas Iloilo on Sunday, Feb 6, 2022.

Escullar said 80 schools passed the school safety assessment tool and secured the consent of the learners’ parents.

But Escullar said they are still waiting for the assessment of the Department of Health (DOH) Central Office and the possible de-escalation of the identified areas in the region to a lower alert level.

Currently, the entire Western Visayas is under the Alert Level 3 classification which prohibits limited face-to-face classes.

Once the entire region or the identified areas slide to Alert Level 2 or 1, Escullar said the regional director is authorized to issue an order for the start of the expanded limited face-to-face classes.

“The schools will just have to coordinate with the LGUs para aware na nga ma-start na ang classes,” he said.

Last November 2021, 18 public schools in the region participated in the limited face-to-face classes.

Escullar said that no COVID-19 infection was monitored in the 18 public schools. He attributed the success to the strict implementation of guidelines and minimum health standards in the participating schools.

“Until subong until nagend ang Alert Level 2, wala sang Covid-19 infections sa schools. It’s a product of pagpangabudlay man sang aton teachers and Deped. And it shows na ang teachers ginaensure na ang safety sang kabataan ang priority gid sa mga nagaparticipate sa face-to-face classes,” he said. (DG)