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At-person classes in three Tawi-Tawi schools have resumed

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines β€” The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE-BARMM) has started a trial of face-to-face (F2F) lessons in three elementary schools in the island province of Tawi-Tawi.

The three schools were validated by the MBHTE regional team and determined to be incomplete compliance with School Safety Assessment Tools (SSAT) for the experimental run of the F2F programs, according to Fatima Abubakar, the Tawi-Tawi schools division superintendent.

The Provincial Housing Laboratory School (PHLS) in Bongao, Tawi-capital; Tawi’s Lt. Laja Idanan Elementary School in Sapa-Sapa municipality; and the Corazon Abubakar Iran Memorial Center Elementary School in Tandubas town were among the schools that participated in a four-week pilot of the F2F classes.

“We submitted six schools for validation, three of which are a priority and three of which are alternates. Only three institutions, however, passed the regional team’s assessment and clearance,” Abubakar said in a statement.

“We were meant to start on February 14 with Basilan,” Abubakar explained, “but Tawi-Tawi was still on Alert Level 3 on that date.”

After the province was dropped to Alert Level 2 from Alert Level 3, the MBHTE issued a memorandum on February 17 instructing the Tawi-Tawi schools division to proceed with the pilot of the F2F classes.

After the four-week pilot at the three schools, Abubakar instructed the other schools in Tawi-Tawi to prepare for the expansion of the F2F programs.

“The heads of schools should prepare their schools for this transition and, ideally, the new normal scenario,” she said.

Jeba Jalim, the principal of PHLS, was pleased that the validating team deemed her school to be fully compliant with the SSAT and chose it for the F2F programs.

“After two years of the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) epidemic, my 1,044 students and 56 teachers, including myself and my staff, are ecstatic to return to school,” Jalim stated.

“Modular distance learning is good,” she noted, “but face-to-face class education is superior.”

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