FACE TO FACE. Classes start at the Baguio Central School in this pre-pandemic photo from 2018. At least 1,308 of the 2,085 schools in the Cordillera region will hold in-person classes five days a week, starting Aug. 22, 2022. (PNA file photo by Liza T. Agoot)

BAGUIO CITY – More than 60 percent of all elementary and secondary schools in the Cordillera region are ready for the opening of in-person classes on August 22, the regional education office said Thursday.

Cyrille Gaye Miranda of the Department of Education (DepEd) - Cordillera public affairs office said 1,308 or 62.73 percent of the 2,085 schools providing basic education in the region would be holding face-to-face classes next week.

Meanwhile, 629 schools have chosen a blended learning modality and four will remain in full distance learning mode.

In Abra, 279 schools out of 353 will start full face-to-face classes next week; Apayao, 181 of 206 schools; Baguio City, 12 of 163 schools; Benguet, 316 of 486 schools; Ifugao, 108 of 277 schools; Kalinga, 153 of 200 schools; Mountain Province, 189 of 281 schools; and Tabuk City, Kalinga, 70 of 119 schools.

The DepEd-Cordillera said a school's learning modality depends on its readiness against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and the damage incurred during the July 27 magnitude 7 earthquake in the region.

Its rapid assessment of damage report (RADaR) showed that as of August 15, about 517 classrooms in the region were destroyed; 341 classrooms had infrastructure damage; 1,106 classrooms had partial major damage; and 1,253 had partial minor damage.

Also damaged were 376 toilets and 168 hand washing facilities, aside from furniture, learning resources, and computers.

Miranda said the DepEd is still working out the budget for the replacement of destroyed schools, as well as for major and minor repairs.

“The schools are establishing temporary learning spaces for the learners as a remedy,” she said.

She also assured the public that the regional office, division offices, and the different schools are already finalizing their learning recovery and continuity plans.

Apart from Brigada Eskwela, where volunteers are encouraged to help prepare the classrooms for school opening, safety and wellness training and orientations are also being conducted for school personnel in the region.

Other DepEd-Cordillera projects are an online help desk, the “Regional Office on Wheels,” and Project FIBER or Future-ready iBenguet learners priming life-ready skills. (PNA)