No COVID-19 cases after a week of DepEd’s pilot test

    After a week of in-face classes pilot tested in public and private schools, the Department of Education (DepEd) announces that there were no coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections reported among students and teachers.

    METRO MANILA, Philippines — In a virtual press briefing, DepEd Assistant Secretary for Field Operations, Malcolm Garma, reported updates on the first week of resumption of face-to-face classes in 100 participating public schools from low-risk areas nationwide.

    He stated that there were no reported COVID-19 infections among the students and personnel during the first week of the pilot test.

    However, he clarified that the data is based on 56 out of 100 public schools that implemented the pilot face-to-face classes starting 15 November. Mr Garma said they are expecting to hear reports from the remaining schools.

    There are 7,324 learners and 1,129 teaching and non-teaching personnel who participated in the pilot test run in 100 public schools. Based on the initial reports, 73.3 percent of participants are from Kindergarten to Grade 3.

    Twenty-five percent are from senior high school (SHS). Overall, DepEd’s data showed that 1.7 percent are both from Kindergarten to Grade 3 and SHS levels.

    Some challenges encountered during the pilot test run are limited time to clarify lessons, limited time to accommodate students, and some students having difficulties seeing what is written on board due to physical distancing.

    Mr Garma has also noted that some learners cannot hear clearly what the teacher said due to the face masks that are required to be worn at all times during face-to-face classes.

    Education Secretary Leonor Briones recognizes that some stakeholders—including parents, learners, teachers, and even local governments—might still be hesitant to participate or attend the pilot classes due to the risk of contracting the virus and among other reasons. (JE/The MiNT)

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