Education Secretary Leonor Briones (File photo)

MANILA – Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Monday said there are now 90 public schools that "will be pushing through with conduct the pilot limited face-to-face classes" on Nov. 15.

In a Palace press briefing, Briones said the goal of the Department of Education (DepEd) is to have 100 public schools participate in the limited in-person classes nationwide.

Briones said the selection of the schools depends on many factors and one of them is the risk assessment done by the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau (DOH-EB).

She said the local government units where the schools are situated must allow the implementation of the pilot limited face-to-face classes, the schools’ facilities must have the appropriate set up complete with water and medicines, and there must be written consent from the parents of learners who plan to participate.

“Ito iyong sinasabi nga natin na first batch, 59, tapos halos everyday ay may nadadagdag na mga schools na nag-qualify, tapos ang ginagawa natin ngayon ay niri-review natin dahil ang policy ay magdagdag tayo ng (This is what we’ve said first batch [of schools], 59, then almost every day qualified schools were added, then we reviewed the policy, and we will add) 20 private schools,” Briones said.

She added that one international school has submitted to the DepEd its plan on how to conduct limited in-person classes which must be evaluated by the DOH-EB.

Of the 90 public schools identified, 14 schools are in Caraga; 10 schools in Regions 1 (Ilocos); 10 schools in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley); 10 schools in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas); eight schools in Region 7 (Central Visayas), eight schools in Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula); eight schools in Region 11 (Davao); six schools in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); five schools in Calabarzon; and five schools in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

“So far, in the 90 schools, 93.2 percent personnel are already vaccinated. Iyong (The) personnel, staff, and so on, vaccinated, of course, there is a preference and the parents have also expressed this that they would want vaccinated staff and teachers to attend to their children,” Briones said.

On Oct. 15, the DepEd Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma noted only 30 public schools out of the 59 schools identified by DOH will push through with the pilot run as they have passed the DepEd’s school safety assessment.

Garma said the DepEd will continue to identify and review more schools to complete the target number of schools for the pilot run.

On Tuesday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) assured that it is ready to assist the pilot run of face-to-face classes.

PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said he has directed the unit commanders concerned to coordinate with the respective local offices of the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to discuss how the PNP could help on this matter.

Kasama ang inyong PNP na sumusuporta sa unti-unti nating pagbabalik sa normal at patuloy ding nakatutok ang inyong kapulisan upang matiyak ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa hindi lang sa banta ng Covid-19 kundi pati na rin sa iba pang banta sa seguridad ng ating mga guro at estudyante (With your PNP supporting our gradual return to normal and your police are also constantly focused to ensure the safety of everyone not only from the threat of Covid-19 but also from other threats to the security of our teachers and students),” said Eleazar. (with Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)