President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the expansion of face-to-face (F2F) classes next month in areas with low Covid-19 risks, Malacañang announced Tuesday.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced Tuesday that the Chief Executive had given his go-signal to the proposed “progressive expansion” of in-person classes in provinces under Alert Levels 1 and 2 by February.
“The President had no objection to that,” Nograles told reporters.
The Palace official said that the Department of Health and the Department of Education will assess which areas are qualified for the conduct of face-to-face classes.
Expanded face-to-face classes should secure the support of local governments, parents, and other school stakeholders, Nograles added.
The majority of the provinces in the Philippines have been placed under Alert Level 3, while a few were put under Alert Level 2. The most relaxed Alert Level 1 has yet to be hoisted in any part of the country.
On Monday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones told the President that the pilot run of in-person classes from 15 November to 22 December last year had been successful, noting the high number of attending students.
About 287 schools and 15,000 students participated in the pilot study, she added.
There were no confirmed Covid-19 cases among the participants in the pilot implementation and only vaccinated teachers and non-teaching personnel were allowed to participate, Briones said.
Last month, Duterte said he was pleased with the gradual rollout of face-to-face classes after students and teachers were forced to adopt a blended learning scheme for nearly two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.