Face-to-face classes have begun for millions of Filipino students in more than 10,000 public and private schools, as limited in-person sessions began for the first time.
It’s been two years since pandemic-driven movement restrictions were implemented in the country and most of the world in March 2022. According to a Department of Education official, 9,994 public schools and 212 private schools began limited in-person classes this week.
Under certain conditions, the school may reopen. The school must pass an assessment, and the location should be in areas with Alert Levels 1 and 2.
“These are the schools that can already reopen for face-to-face classes,” Education Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma said in a press conference, citing the most recent data.
“The total of these participating schools is 10,196 schools,” the official said. The education department’s regional offices have identified 14,396 public and private schools with 2.6 million students “nominated” to resume limited in-person classes after two years of home-based learning.
“The schools that have been nominated have already passed the School Safety Assessment Tool against COVID-19,” Garma explained.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved the education department’s proposal in January to expand in-person classes in public and private schools in areas with lower alert levels.
COVID cases have significantly decreased in the Asian country, owing to a vigorous COVID vaccination campaign by health officials. In order to conduct in-person classes, schools must also obtain approval from their respective local government units, according to the official.
The majority of the Philippines is now at Alert Level 1, the lowest rung in the coronavirus preparedness level.