DepEd orders resumption, expansion of face-to-face classes in Alert Level 2 areas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 2) – Education Secretary Leonor Briones has ordered all Department of Education (DepEd) regional directors to implement the resumption and expansion of limited face-to-face classes for both public and private schools in Alert Level 2 areas.

Briones issued the directive after President Rodrigo Duterte gave the approval last month to widen the implementation of physical classes in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Based on Briones' meeting with the DepEd regional directors on Wednesday, the 28 pilot schools in Metro Manila will start their classes on Feb. 9 while expansion schools will commence their learning sessions from the same day onwards.

Metro Manila and other areas have been placed under the lighter Alert Level 2 status from Feb. 1-15.

A total of 57 schools in Calabarzon, 21 in Rizal and 36 in Cavite, will take part in the "progressive expansion" of face-to-face classes beginning Feb. 14. "Progressive expansion" was considered for implementation upon recommendation by DepEd so as to add more schools and grade levels in holding face-to-face learning.

Around 106 schools in Bulacan have also expressed readiness to commence face-to-face classes by Feb. 21.

Briones added that 12 schools in Batanes and three schools in Southern Leyte will start their limited physical classes next week, while seven schools each in Maasin City and Biliran City will open theirs on Feb. 14.

The Education Secretary also said that other regions in the country which are under Alert Level 2 or in much lower alert level status should continuously prepare to implement limited physical classes in their areas.

Briones reminded participating schools to secure a clearance from the local government unit on the holding of face-to-face classes. Only vaccinated students and teachers are allowed to take part.

The national government suspended last month the implementation of limited face-to-face classes in areas placed under a stricter alert level status due to the surge of COVID-19 cases.