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Physical classes with limited students possible – DepEd official
By: Mylen Manto | Published Thursday, November 12, 2020
Department of Education (DepEd) 7 Director Dr. Salustiano Jimenez said limited face-to-face classes in public schools twice a week is possible in less-populated areas in the Province. (Donald Moga)

Face-to-face classes twice a week with limited capacity per class is possible for public schools in the less-populated island and mountain barangays where the necessary safety and health protocols can be easily implemented.

Department of Education (DepEd) 7 Director Dr. Salustiano Jimenez stated this during the regular session of the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) Monday, November 9.

“It will be a gradual implementation. So, we’ll start from the hinterlands and island schools because ang hinterlands limited man gud ang number sa population, gamay ra ba og mga bata. Very easy to control unya ma-implement gyud og klaro ang social distancing and health and safety protocols,” he said.

“Two days maximum face-to-face per week with 50 percent capacity. So, if let us say there are 20 learners in the class, 10 will be on the first two days, the other two days for another 50 percent and Friday will be the teachers’ preparation,” Jimenez explained.

Two days of the week will be intended for the face-to-face classes while the remaining three days will be for blended learning which employs modules, books, and radio-based instruction.

Jimenez, a member of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF), disclosed that their office submitted to RIATF last month a proposal for limited face-to-face classes which was then endorsed to the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF).

DepEd 7 received around 160 resolutions from different parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and local government units (LGUs) in Central Visayas requesting for the resumption of physical classes. 

If President Rodrigo Duterte grants their request this month, Jimenez said the limited physical classes in mountain areas and islands in the entire Cebu Island will possibly start by December 2020. 

Currently, Cebu Island, which includes the independent cities of Lapu-Lapu and Cebu, has 372 public schools in mountain areas, 156 in the islands, 251 in urban areas, and 856 in low-lying areas in the mainland.

Over 1.1 million students from kindergarten to senior high school are enrolled for this school year.

The PB invited DepEd 7 officials in Monday’s session to know the effectivity of the implementation of distance learning and to check on their available budget for the teachers’ modular learning resources.

Jimenez told the Board that any assessment on the effective the new learning set-up is not yet possible because it has only been a month since classes officially started.

 “As of now, we are still in the first month of the implementation of the modality which is the modular printed materials and radio-based instructions. So, maybe after the school year, once we have the assessment we could possibly initially tell that this modality did teach something to our learners,” he explained. 

Sixth district Board member Glenn Anthony Soco said he will file a resolution supporting the DepEd’s proposal for the resumption of a limited face-to face classes in public schools. 

“We would like to see any assessment or any resolution that you have already filed so that we can balance also and we can come up with our own pertinent resolution,” he said, which Jimenez committed to give. (Mylen Manto)