/ 17 February 2022

FIVE public schools in Basilan province started the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes this week.

These schools are Damaso C. Furigay Jr. Memorial National High School, Mt. Trail Elementary School, Ulame Elementary School – all in Lamitan City, Akbar Elementary School in Akbar Municipality, and Upper Bans Elementary School in Lantawan Municipality.

“We are very happy to welcome both our teachers and pupils. In fact, ang aga nga nila dumating dahil sa sobrang excited. Bilang head nila, ramdam namin ang pananabik ng mga bata sa pagbabalik ng face-to-face classes at masaya kami dahil ito na yun at natupad na,” Jomar Dindin, Mt. Trail Elementary School head, said.

Sharida Jean De Guzman, a teacher at the Damasco C. Furigay Jr. Memorial National High School, said that the learners can now finally focus on their studies.

“To the BARMM officials, especially the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education, thanks for allowing us to have F2F classes since the students need to focus on their studies,” De Guzman said.

In November 2021, the MBHTE inspected 63 schools to assess their readiness to conduct physical classes.

Of this number, 33 were included in the ‘priority list’ while 30 were tapped as alternates.

“From January 28 to February 10, 2022, MBHTE’s regional validating team visited the 33 priority schools and only 15 of them were confirmed to have 100% compliance to School Safety Assessment Tools to conduct the face-to-face classes,” MBHTE Minister Mohagher Iqbal.

“However, since the BARMM is still under level 3 until February 15, only the five schools in Basilan which is under level 2, were eligible to pilot the face-to-face classes on February 14,” he added.

Iqbal said other validated schools will start piloting physical classes once their local government units were placed under Alert Levels 1 or 2.