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Limited F2F classes will be offered in 66 public schools in Iloilo City.

CITY OF ILOILO – From the existing four schools with 720 students, the Schools Division of Iloilo City hopes to introduce restricted face-to-face classrooms in all 66 public elementary and secondary schools here next school year.

On May 16, the Donato Pison Sr. Memorial School, which has 221 students, Tabucan Elementary School (ES), which has 186 students, and Jalandoni Memorial National High School (MNHS), which has 97 students, began their limited face-to-face classes, while the Navais-Borres ES, which has 216 students, began their limited face-to-face classes on June 6.

Six other schools are ready, according to Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Dannie Clark Uguil, but will begin next school year because courses will end on June 24.

In Mandurriao, the Hibao-ao ES; in Jaro, the RG Hechanova Memorial NHS, Tiu Cho Teg-Ana Ros Foundation Integrated Farm School, and Angela A. Celis Memorial School; and in Sooc, Arevalo district, the Sto Nio Sur ES and Abeto Elementary School.

“More or less, they can start opening this school now.” However, we are preparing all schools since our goal is to have all 66 public schools open limited face-to-face before the start of the new school year,” he said in an interview.

Classes are only held in the morning, according to Uguil, because the afternoon is dedicated to disinfection and preparation for the next day’s classes.

Modules or activity sheets complement other activities that are not addressed in the classroom, he added.

“The first week of class was devoted to reading and numeracy, as well as social skills and psychosocial assistance. Some students are quick learners, while others require remediation. Teachers will have to double their efforts, but they will manage,” he said.

Only 12 students are allowed every session in Kindergarten through Grade 3, and a maximum of 20 students are allowed in Grades 4 through 6.

While immunization is not required for face-to-face classes, Uguil says that 94 percent of the 720 students have received the Covid-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, the local government, which has advocated for the return of face-to-face teaching, plans to introduce pediatric immunization to schools in order to reach more students.

According to data from the City Health Office (CHO), 21.55 percent of the 61,872 children aged 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, and 94.93 percent of the 52,622 children aged 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated.

In a June 6 press conference, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treas remarked, “I think we would work with the school so that we may do the vaccination in the classroom.”

The mayor is concerned that education levels were “not very good” prior to the outbreak.

“How much more now that mothers are completing and answering modules online?” He stated, “We really need to get back to face-to-face.”

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