MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday approved the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in selected schools in low-risk areas for the whole month of January next year.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a statement, said Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Education (DepEd) for such plan.
Roque said the DepEd will coordinate with the country's COVID-19 National Task Force in implementing the dry run, which will follow strict health and safety measures.
"We need to emphasize that face-to-face classes in schools where this may be allowed will not be compulsory, but rather voluntary on the part of the learner / parents," Roque said.
"Having said this, a parent’s permit needs to be submitted for the student to participate in face-to-face classes."
In July, Duterte said he is prohibiting in-person classes until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available in the country. He said face-to-face classes may resume in January next year.
Classes in public schools in the country opened in October under a blended distance learning system due to the continuing threat of COVID-19, which has infected over 450,000 people in the country, with more than 8,700 deaths.