MANILA (UPDATE) — So far, only 30 public schools will proceed to hold limited in-person classes starting November 15, the Department of Education said Tuesday.
But Education Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma said the number will increase until it reaches the maximum 100 allowed schools.
"Ang objective natin ay buoin natin iyong 100 na pampublikong paaralan," Garma said in a virtual press briefing.
(Our objective is to complete the 100 allowed public schools.)
The 30 are those that passed the DepEd's school safety assessment tool, coming from the 59 public schools initially identified by the Department of Health (DOH) for the 2-month pilot implementation.
- Laserna Integrated School
- Mayabay Elementary School
- Igsoro Elementary School
- Basak Elementary School
- Mahanlud Elementary School
- Cabagdalan Elementary School
- Luyongbaybay Elementary School
- Cañang-Marcelo Luna National High School
- Busay National High School
- Pilar National High School
- Siocon Elementary School
Lanao del Norte
- Dalama Central Elementary School
- Babalaya Elementary School
- Napo Elementary School
- Masibay Integrated School
- Tambacon Integrated School
- Marcela T. Mabanta National High School
- Gutusan Elementary School
- Mary B. Perpetua National High School
- Sinalongan Elementary School
- Paco National High School
- Bato Elementary School
Zamboanga del Sur
- Manga National High School
- Manga Elementary School
- Lala Elementary School
- Sominot National High School
- Tabina Elementary School
- Guipos National High School
- Siloh Elementary School
- San Vicente Elementary School
The DOH has furnished a new list of schools for the DepEd to assess in the coming days, Garma said.
Garma said 46 other schools are appealing to join the pilot implementation.
"May mga LGU (local government unit) na humihiling na sana masama rin 'yong kanilang lugar, mga eskuwelahan sa kanilang mga lugar," he said.
(Some LGUs are asking if their areas, if the schools in their areas can be included in the pilot implementation.)
Garma said that 317 of the 444 school personnel in the participating schools have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Under the DepEd and DOH guidelines, only fully vaccinated school personnel can join the pilot implementation.
The DepEd is still in the process of identifying the 20 private schools that will participate in the pilot implementation.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the DepEd was not discounting the possibility of including Metro Manila schools in the pilot implementation.
The pilot run is the first step in a 3-phased plan to reopen Philippine schools, which have been closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Garma added that the DepEd may allow either more schools or grade levels to hold in-person classes if the pilot implementation was successful.
Currently, only students from Kindergarten to Grade 3, and senior high schools are joining the dry run.
In the same press briefing, DepEd Director for Planning Services Roger Masapol said international schools have also been recommended to allow holding limited in-person classes, but must first seek the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
"It was recommended [na] ia-allow silang mag-implement ng face-to-face classes on top of the 120 [pilot schools] but they shall take full responsibility," Masapol said.
(It was recommended that international schools be allowed to implement face-to-face classes on top of the 120 pilot schools, but they shall take full responsibility.)
Under an Oct. 18 DepEd memorandum, international schools "are required to submit their proposal on how they intend to implement face-to-face classes."
"DepEd and DOH shall jointly evaluate their proposals and transmit the result to the IATF for approval," the DepEd said in its memorandum.
International schools are also required to secure consent from their local government unit and students' parents before holding in-person classes, according to the memorandum.