Limited face-to-face classes have started in 88 public schools and three private schools in the province of Catanduanes just a week after the COVID-19 alert level was lowered.
Cabuyoan Elementary School in Panganiban, which was the lone public school in last year’s initial list of those ready for limited face-to-face classes, was joined by private schools Christian Polytechnic Institute of Catanduanes (Kinder to Grade 6), Ville St. John School (Kinder to Grade 6) and The Blooming Child Developmental School (Kindergarten), all in the capital town of Virac.
The four schools began allowing pupils back into their premises after conducting a meeting with their parents on March 1, 2022.
At The Blooming Child Developmental School in Calatagan Proper, Virac, the pupils and their guardians have to undergo temperature check and disinfection at the gate, with the children sanitizing their hands before entering the building while the teacher disinfects their school bags.
Inside the room with open windows, the six pupils sit in benches with semi-enclosed partitions and attend learning sessions with the teacher while the other half watch online.
Those online will then attend class the following day, while those who were in physical class will be online.
Pursuant to Deped regulations, each school has designed class programs that cater to both learners of limited face-to-face classes and distance education while observing the minimum 6-hour classroom teaching hours.
They have been given the option to have half-day face-to-face classes for a week and the other half-day for distance learning; one straight week of pure distance learning; or alternate face-to-face classes every week.
Here is the list of schools allowed to implement limited face-to-face classes, by town:
BAGAMANOC (2) – Pangacayanan Elementary School and Bagamanoc Rural Development High School.
BARAS (4) – Puraran ES, Caragumihan ES, Paniquihan ES and Salvacion ES.
BATO (5) – Batalay ES, Cagraray ES, Buenavista ES, Carorian ES, and San Pedro ES.
CARAMORAN (6) – Caramoran Central ES, Palumbanes Integrated School, Tubli ES, Datag Central ES, Salvacion ES, and Tubli National High School.
GIGMOTO (7) – Biong ES, Dominador C, Guerrero ES, San Pedro ES, Dororian ES, Gigmoto Central ES,m Sicmil Integrated School, and Sioron ES.
PANDAN (16) – Baldoc ES, Canlubi ES, Hiyop ES, Porot ES, San Isidro ES, Bagawang ES, Balangonan ES, Caruyo Primary School, Catamban ES, Lumabao ES, Pandan Central ES, Sta. Cruz ES, San Andres ES, San Rafael Primary School, Tariwara ES, and Leandro I. Verceles NHS.
PANGANIBAN (1) – Cabuyoan ES.
SAN ANDRES (10) – Bagong Sirang ES, Bislig ES, Cabcab ES, Catagbacan ES, Codon ES, Manambrag ES, Mayngaway ES, San Isidro ES, Tibang ES and Codon NHS.
SAN MIGUEL (25) – Alma ES, Balatohan ES, Caglatawan ES, Kilikilihan ES, Mabato Central ES, Pacogon ES, Pagsangahan ES, Paraiso A ES, Paraiso B ES, San Marcos ES, Siay ES, Tobrehon ES, JMA-Tucao ES, Patagan ES, Pangilao ES, Solong Primary School, Katipunan ES, San Juan ES, Boton Primary School, Obo ES, Buhi ES, San Miguel Central ES, San Miguel RDHS, and San Miguel RDHS Annex (Mabato HS).
VIRAC (11) – Calabnigan ES, Danicop ES, Dugui San Isidro ES, Dugui Wala ES, Dugui Too ES, Hicming ES, Simamla ES, Sogod Simamla ES, Taytay ES, Palta NHS and Catanduanes National High School.
Aside from Grade 7 to 12, the Catanduanes NHS will offer Grade 7-10 special programs, and Grade 12 TVL Strand only.
The list of the schools is contained in Division Memorandum No. 95 issued by Catanduanes Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Susan Collano, who directed four composite teams to monitor the actual conduct of classes based on each school’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) and the School Safety Assessment Tool (SSAT).
The 90 schools here are part of the 1,029 public and private schools in Bicol allowed to join the progressive expansion of limited face-to-face classes.
DepEd Bicol Director Gilbert Sadsad said in a recent statement that all 986 public schools and 43 private schools the SSAT and has complied with the Interim Guidelines on the Expansion of Limited Face-to-Face Classes set by DepEd Central Office.
In the said interim guidelines, expansion schools are required to pass the standards of the SSAT, be in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2, obtain the Local Government Unit’s concurrence and has acquired written consent of of the parents or guardians of the learners intending to participate and coordinate with respective barangays for a collaborative implementation of the onsite learning modality.
Based on the latest data, the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Camarines Sur has the largest number of participating public schools for the expansion with a total of 366 schools; followed by SDO Camarines Norte with 258 schools, SDO Masbate Province with 156 schools, SDO Catanduanes with 87 schools, SDO Sorsogon Province with 44 schools, SDO Sorsogon City with 39 schools, SDO Ligao City with 15 schools, SDO Masbate City with 11 schools, Albay with 4 schools, and Naga City with 3 schools.
Meanwhile, DepEd Bicol has also approved requests from various private schools in the region to adopt and implement the limited face-to-face modality. A total number of 43 private schools were given permission for the said scheme consisted of 18 schools from Camarines Norte, 8 schools from Sorsogon City, 7 schools in Camarines Sur, 7 schools in Catanduanes, 3 schools from Masbate, 2 from Ligao City, and 1 from Masbate City and Naga City.
Under the progressive expansion phase, DepEd Bicol will already allow other grade levels to participate in the limited face-to-face classes. Schools are also given flexibility in contact time for teaching and learning, provided that meals are not taken in school except during managed recess.
In preparation for the expansion, Director Sadsad said that some teachers have already conducted dry runs and orientation and meetings with parents, local government units and other stakeholders on the operational dynamics and interplay between distance learning and face-to-face classes. Other schools have also conducted Brigada Eskwela to prepare the school facilities for the safe re-opening of classes.
Director Sadsad added that the said number of schools could possibly increase as there are schools that are currently under SSAT validation of the Department of Health and are also requesting approval from the Regional Office and their respective Local Government Units.