Malacañang announced Tuesday that the dry run for in-person classes in select schools in areas with low risk for COVID-19 transmission would be from January 11 to 23, 2021.
The Department of Education (DepEd) and the COVID-19 National Task Force would monitor the dry run, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Concerned agencies would then take the last week of January to submit their reports and evaluation regarding the pilot-testing for final recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to the DepEd’s timeline, regional directors would need to submit the list of nominated schools to Education Secretary Leonor Briones on or before December 18.
The DepEd chief will then select the pilot schools on December 28, followed by orientation, mobilization, and readiness confirmation of chosen schools.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said most schools that expressed interest in participating in the dry run are in rural areas. Some mayors also recommended indigenous peoples’ communities.
The DepEd secretary noted that the number of learners allowed in face-to-face classes would be limited.
Briones also said concerned authorities such as local government units, DepEd, and parents should share the responsibility if a student gets infected with COVID-19.
Dry run of in-person classes from January 11-23, 2021 – Palace
Roque clarified that in-person classes are not mandatory. “Having said this, a parent’s permit needs to be submitted for the student to participate in face-to-face classes,” he added.
Meanwhile, BHW party-list Representative Angelica Natasha Co said students and teachers should be vaccinated first before attending face-to-face classes.
“Although the home is everyone’s first school, the bottom line is that inadequate are all efforts to conduct formal schooling through modules, blended learning, online learning, and distance learning via tv and radio. All of those efforts are coping mechanisms,” Co said.
“Effective adjustment to life under the new normal can be best achieved by having the students and teachers vaccinated so that they can return to their schools for face-to-face classroom sessions,” she added.