MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte did not pose any objection to the proposed expansion of face-to-face classes in areas with the loosest COVID-19 restrictions, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Monday proposed to the President the expansion of in-person classes in areas under COVID-19 alert 1 and 2 by February.
“Walang objection si Pangulo doon. And after the presentation ni Sec. Briones, then tuloy-tuloy po nila iyong pag-aaral nila,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Duterte's acting spokesman.
(The President had no objection to that. And after the presentation by Sec. Briones, then their study would continue.)
“Again, it will be the DepEd [Department of Education] and the DOH [Department of Health] combined who will be assessing the expansion noong pilot implementation ng face-to-face classes under DepEd,” he said in a press briefing.
Expanded face-to-face classes should secure the support of local governments, parents, and other school stakeholders, Nograles said, quoting the education department's proposal.
Briones earlier said only vaccinated teaching and non-teaching personnel will participate in the face-to-face classes. Participation by vaccinated students will also be preferred, she added.
Twenty-eight public schools in Metro Manila joined face-to-face classes in December but the pilot program was suspended earlier this month, as COVID-19 cases spiked in the region.
Limited face-to-face classes continued in other areas under COVID-19 Alert 2.
The DepEd has given schools and local education officials leeway to suspend classes for up to 2 weeks to cope with the ongoing spike in coronavirus infections.