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In the Western Visayas, 15 more public schools have joined the limited F2F programs.

On Monday, a total of 15 public schools in Western Visayas will join the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face (F2F) classrooms.

In an interview on Monday, Hernani Escullar Jr., information officer for the Department of Education Western Visayas (DepEd-6) said the region submitted a list of 171 schools in response to their central office’s request on November 10 to nominate more schools for the limited F2F classes.

On November 30, the initial result revealed 17 schools, which were whittled down to 15 schools on December 2: seven for kindergarten to grade three (K-G3), six for Grades 11 to 12 (G11-12), and one each for Grades 1 to 3 and Grade 12.

Banga Elementary School in Aklan, Taras Elementary School in Guimaras, and Hiyang Hiyang Elementary School, Aguntilang Elementary School, Colonia Divina Integrated School, Patag Diotay Elementary School, and Mauboy Elementary School in Negros Occidental are among the schools that offer Kโ€“G3.

Malinao School for Philippine Craftsmen in Aklan, Antique National School in Antique, Mabini National High School in Bacolod City, Valladolid National High School, and Victorias National High School in Negros Occidental, and Mulapula National High School in Iloilo province were among the schools that participated in G11-12.

Meanwhile, Grade 12 students at Alangilan National High School in Bacolod City and Grades 1 to 3 students at Olotayan Integrated School in Roxas City, Capiz, are joining the limited F2F program.

“In terms of classrooms, they continue to adhere to the severe health standards outlined in the Department of Health and Department of Education’s joint memorandum circular,” he stated.

According to the circular, kindergarten classes can have up to 12 students, Grades 1โ€“3 can have up to 16 students, and Senior High School can have up to 20 students (SHS).

Kindergarten through Grade 3 will have a maximum of three hours of class time, while Senior High School will have four hours.

At the school’s entrance, they must also have a foot bath, non-contact thermometer, and a handwashing facility.

Learners must go straight to their assigned seats and are not allowed to wander around the classroom.

After class, students must depart in a timely manner, pass through the hand washing area, and go to the appropriate exit location for their school.

According to Escullar, the pilot implementation has already enrolled 20 schools, with 18 public and two private schools participating.

He added that the remaining 156 schools are likewise prepared to adopt the limited F2F programs, but that the DepEd will only authorize a certain amount.

“Those 156 schools that have already passed the school safety assessment instrument have received approval from their LGU (local government unit) as well as parental approval. We will instantly propose these over 150 schools to the central office if there is a vacancy,” he added.

They should also evaluate their school safety assessment tool (SSAT) on a regular basis to review the criteria for necessary changes.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education has yet to issue new guidelines for the expansion of experimental F2F programs from private learning institutions.

“All we have to do now is wait for the mandate from our central office.” “Once there is direction, we will follow it,” he continued.

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