/ 6 October 2021

THE SENATE will conduct an inquiry to assess the preparations of the Department of Education for the holding of limited face-to-face classes.

The inquiry will be held by the Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture headed by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.

Under the circular signed by the Department of Education and the Department of Health, 120 schools will participate in the dry run of limited in-person learning.

The face-to-face classes will be closely monitored for two months. A maximum of 12 learners will be allowed in one classroom for Kindergarten, 16 learners for Grades 1 to 3, 20 learners for Grades 4-12, and 12 learners for technical-vocational livelihood workshop and science laboratory.

While Gatchalian strongly supports the pilot run of limited in-person learning, he pressed the need to assure the public that all steps are taken to ensure the safety of learners, teachers, and other school personnel.

“Ang unti-unti nating pagbabalik sa face-to-face classes ay isang mahalagang hakbang upang makabalik sa normal ang ating sektor ng edukasyon. Ngunit ang pinakamahalagang dapat nating matiyak ay kung paano mapapanatiling ligtas ang ating mga guro at mag-aaral kapag nagsimula na ang pilot testing,” said Gatchalian.

“Nais nating gawing maliwanag ang lahat ng hakbang na ginagawa ng ating pamahalaan, kabilang ang pagpapabakuna ng mga guro at mga kabataan, lalo na’t magsisimula na ang pagbabakuna ng general population sa Oktubre,” he added.

Schools participating in limited face-to-face classes should be located in areas with low Covid19 risk.

They should also pass the school safety assessment by DepEd, DOH, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and other organizations dedicated to improving child health care.