Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones has expressed apprehension with regard to the ease of conducting limited face-to-face classes in Metro Manila in January 2021, during the third quarter of the 2020-2021 school year.
Briones shared that general community quarantines throughout the metro would make such in-person classes difficult to conduct. This is because of the stringent conditions and guidelines that would need to be complied with before schools can physically open. Despite some schools confirming readiness for such an arrangement, Briones stressed the bureau’s need to inspect these facilities first.
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On July 22, Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte approved DepEd’s proposal to do limited face-to-face classes starting in January in areas that are under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) or have low cases of coronavirus disease or COVID-19. Under MGQC, the lowest kind of community quarantine, residents must observe minimum public health protocols at all times, and they are all allowed to leave their places of residence regardless of age and health status. Offices may resume full capacity but following alternative arrangements for workers who are senior citizens, pregnant, have health issues, disabilities, or co-morbidities. Public gatherings are also allowed but at only 50 percent capacity.
Classes were earlier disrupted in March as community quarantines were implemented all over the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A blended learning approach will be applied as the school year 2020-2021 formally opens on August 24.
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