THE Department of Education-Davao Region (DepEd-Davao) is hoping that the 18 schools in the region would pass the risk and readiness assessment for the two-month pilot run of limited face-to-face (F2F) classes beginning November 15, 2021.
DepEd Spokesperson Jenielito Atillo told SunStar Davao in a phone interview on Thursday, October 7, that there will still be another screening for the selection of schools on October 11.
“Every Monday, gina-update nila ang listahan hangtod sa muabot na sa 120, included na ang private schools na wala pa nila na-identify (They update their list every Monday until it reaches 120, it includes private schools that they have yet to identify),” Atillo said.
The official earliersaid they identified 18 public schools in the region for face-to-face classes.
The 18 schools are among the 2,181 public schools in the region.
These schools were selected earlier by DepEd-Davao.
On Wednesday, October 6, 59 schools passed the assessment. These were located in Masbate, Aklan, Antique, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sarangani and Cotabato.
The participating schools must be located in a low-risk area and must have endorsements from the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) and LGU based on the joint memorandum of the Department of Health (DOH) and DepEd.
Atillo said the 18 schools in Davao Region were included in the first screening.
A total of 120 schools are expected to participate in the pilot run, which will be held from November 15, 2021 to January 31, 2022.
Atillo declined to name the schools but revealed that all of them are outside Davao City.
However, he said this might still change due to the changing quarantine status per area.
“Naay mga areas nga matangal because we will not include those which will really pose great danger sa atong kabataan and teachers (we may have to trim our initial list especially if it poses a threat to our children and teachers),” he said.
He also said they may expand their list considering that the Davao City Government had recommended the inclusion of five public schools in the city, which are located in the “low risk” areas.
Atillo said Davao City was not included in the initial batch due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the city.
Meanwhile, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the City Government will be seeking consent from DOH to administer anti-Covid vaccines to school pupils aged 12 to 17 years old enrolled in the five schools piloting the F2F classes.
Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview on Monday, October 4, that this was the recommendation of the vaccination cluster of the Davao City Covid-19 Task Force during a meeting.
Atillo said they are still waiting for the national government’s policy on vaccinating students. However, he said those teachers and non-teaching personnel in the F2F classes must be fully vaccinated.
In a Senate hearing Wednesday, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the pilot run will be assessed by the end of December.
By February 2022, the DepEd will present to President Rodrigo Duterte the results of the pilot run and the recommendation to expand the in-person classes.
F2F classes have been suspended since March 2020 as part of preventive measures against Covid-19, although higher education institutions were allowed in January 2021 to hold in-person classes for the medicine and allied medicine programs.
Both the DOH and DepEd have required all teachers and non-teaching personnel who will participate in the pilot run to get vaccinated.