President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Monday night the dry run of face-to-face classes in January of next year in areas classified as having a low risk of COVID-19 transmission, Malacañang said.
Face-to-face classes will be done voluntarily, Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque said.
“A parent’s permit needs to be submitted for the student to participate in face-to-face classes,” Roque said in a statement.
The Department of Education needs to coordinate with the COVID-19 National Task Force for the dry run, according to Roque, noting that it would be done under “strict health and safety measures, and where there is commitment for shared responsibility among DepEd, local government units and parents.”
Schools that will participate in the dry run will be nominated by DepEd regional directors until Dec. 18, Roque said. DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones will decide on the schools by Dec. 28 and an orientation will be conducted from Jan. 4 to 8.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Roque said the pilot run will be from Jan. 11 to 23. The period also includes the joint monitoring of DepEd and the COVID-19 National Task Force.
This year, the Philippines shifted to distance learning as the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the conduct of traditional in-person classes. Distance learning made use of a combination of online and modular learning as schools stay shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the Philippines have been placed under modified general community quarantine this month, the lowest form of community quarantine.
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