‘Face to face’ classes subject to DOH clearance—Deped
Aileen Cerrudo • May 11, 2020 • 715
The Department of Education (Deped) reiterated that face-to-face classes “shall only be allowed when the local risk severity grading permits, and subject to compliance with minimum health standards.”
Deped Secretary Leonor Briones said schools that would want to conduct face-to-face classes should first secure clearance from the Department of Health (DOH).
“There are places na zero [cases]. Like Bohol, nagkaroon sila ng dalawa, pero ngayong under control na (they had two cases but now the situation is under control). We have to get clearance from the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) and DOH,” she said.
Briones also said that even if face-to-face classes will be allowed, the number of students in a classroom would be limited from 15 to 20 students per class.
Physical distancing and minimum health requirements directed by the DOH and the IATF-MEID will also be implemented.
Meanwhile, Deped Usec. Anne Sevilla said private schools can begin the opening of classes before August 24. However, the Education Department will not allow the face-to-face classes.
“Ang choice ng mga eskwelahan (The options of schools) will depend on the local public health situation. So definitely, sa locality ay hindi pwede ang face-to-face, (in the locality, face-to-face is not allowed)” she said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) believes that the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) needs to be extended for two more weeks for the government to assess its effectiveness in containing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission.
According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, it is still early to conclude if quarantine restrictions could be lifted or extended in areas under MECQ as they have many factors to consider before they can decide on what could happen after the two-week MECQ.
“Hindi natin masasabi pa sa ngayon kung ano na talaga ang nangyayari [We cannot tell what will happen as of yet],” Vergeire said.
“We will see the effect maybe three weeks to one month kasi may 14 days incubation period. May nadagdag ba? Nakahinga ba ang ating health system dito sa two weeks na nakapag- recalibrate tayo [We will see the effect maybe three weeks to one month given the 14-days incubation period. Did the number increase? Was our health system able to breathe in these two weeks that we were able to recalibrate]?” she added.
Vergeire said, for now, they cannot really tell if the National Capital Region (NCR) can be reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ).
Meanwhile, experts are still studying the rate of COVID-19 cases in the country and the current capacity of hospitals.
Usec. Vergeire also noted the importance of active participation of local government units (LGU) to curb the spread of COVID-19 in communities, especially in clustered barangays in the NCR.
“Hirap pa tayo magbigay sa ngayon [We cannot conclude yet at the moment]. It is not just the cases that we are looking for during assessment. Tingnan din natin capacity ng health system [We should also look at the capacity of our health system],” Vergeire noted.
The UP OCTA Research group, on the other hand, said their case projection has slowed down because of the government-imposed MECQ.
From 200,000, their case projection lowered to about 170,000 to 190,000 cases.
According to Dr. Guido David, the COVID-19 R-Naught or rate of transmission has dropped since the implementation of MECQ when most of the people are confined in their homes.
The group believes that if the MECQ is further extended, the Philippines might achieve the flattening of the curve.
“It’s very possible even by end of August pwede nang ma- flatten ang curve, pero [the curve can be flattened but] like I said, flattening of the curve at the end hindi ibig sabihin katapusan na ito [doesn’t mean it’s over],” David said.
“Hopefully, kapag nag- flatten ang curve maybe we can already sustain it kapag nag- GCQ na tayo [Hopefully, when the curve is finally flattened, we can already sustain it once we shift to GCQ],” he added.
Dr. David noted that although the community quarantine has been an enormous help in containing the virus, the most important still is the overall effort and collaboration of the public and those who enforce the minimum health protocols, especially the wearing of face masks.
The DOH, meanwhile, advised the public particularly those with elderly family members and immunocompromised individuals to always wear masks even inside the house and maintain social distancing to curb COVID-19 transmission. –MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
In preparation for the opening of classes, the Department of Education (DepEd) will conduct a virtual launch that will feature schools’ localized implementation of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP).
DepEd’s ‘Handang Isip, Handa Bukas’ will be launched on Monday (August 10) where 10 schools of different types nationwide are set to show how they have contextualized the BE-LCP through simulation activities.
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The schools that will participate will include: Navotas National High School, Mangayon Elementary School, Don Ruben E. Ecleo Sr. Memorial National High School, Calay IP School, Malaya Elementary School, Don Luis Hidalgo Memorial School (Rural-Complete School), Sucao ES (Multigrade School), Santiago City NHS (Urban-Medium), Shining Light Academy (Private), and TAGUMpay Palengskwelahan ALS Center (Community Learning Center).
Parents and learners that will participate will also provide testimonies of their experiences during the dry runs.
The program will be livestreamed on DepEd’s Facebook page, government channels, and other regional local channels. AAC
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