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DepEd: ‘Extreme caution’ to be exercised in dry run of face-to-face classes

“Extreme caution” will be exercised in the dry run of face-to-face classes next month, the Department of Education (DepEd) said as parents, teachers, and stakeholders raised concerns on the matter while the COVID-19 pandemic persists.

DepEd said it consulted representatives from different sectors to come up with a “risk-informed approach” in reopening schools.

“We understand from these engagements that clear policies and preventive measures are needed to eliminate the risk of infection among our teachers and learners,” the agency said in a statement.

“It is precisely why we are approaching this pilot implementation with extreme caution,” it added.

President Rodrigo Duterte earliers this month approved the pilot run of in-person classes next month but only for areas with low risk of COVID-19 spread. The DepEd said it would be “highly selective” of schools that would participate in the pilot implementation.

Some 1,000 schools have already been submitted to DepEd as options for the dry run. The DepEd is set to announce the schools chosen for the dry run on Monday, Dec. 28.

“Health standards will be strictly enforced on school premises, during travel, and at home. Participation of learners will also be voluntary, with requisite permit from parents,” DepEd said.

This year classes opened via distance learning as the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the traditional in-person classes.

While participation in the dry run of face-to-face classes is voluntary, many sectors have raised concerns that it cound pose health risks given that children are known to be “silent spreaders” of the virus.


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