DepEd: Wearing of face shields not required in pilot run of limited face-to-face classes

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Photo courtesy: Albert Bangayan/CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 14) – Face shields are not required for teachers and students participating in the Education department’s pilot run of limited face-to-face classes starting Monday, Nov. 15, according to an official.

Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma announced the directive, but emphasized that the wearing of face masks is still necessary inside the classrooms.

Hindi po talaga requirement ang face shield sa loob ng classroom. Pero yung face mask ay talagang importante na mapanatili nating nakasuot sa ating mga mag-aaral sa buong oras ng kanilang ilalagi,” Garma told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Weekend on Sunday.

[Translation: It is not a requirement to wear face shields inside the classroom. But students must always wear their face mask during all of the time they will spend inside the classroom.]

Garma said the students from 100 public schools and 20 private institutions participating in the pilot study will spend from 3 to 5 hours inside the classroom.

Each classroom must only have 12-15 students in order to properly observe physical distancing, he added.

The DepEd official emphasized that once a student or teacher exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 inside the school premises, proper health and safety protocols will be enforced, such as isolation, treatment, and contact tracing.

Hindi kailangang i-test na positive, pero kapag lumabas na ang mga sintomas nila, ito na ‘yung gagawin agad natin [The students do not need to test positive, but if they begin to show symptoms, we will implement the protocols],” said Garma.

Classes at the basic education level for the school year 2021-2022 started on Sept. 13 under a distance learning setup, which was first used in the previous academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.