40 private schools in Central Visayas want out of in-person classes
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Around 40 private schools in Central Visayas have informed the Department of Education (DepEd) about their plan not to adopt the mandatory in-person classes starting on Nov. 2.
According to DepEd-Central Visayas Director Salustiano Jimenez, officials of these schools requested to be allowed to continue their “blended learning” approach in response to the clamor of parents who still have apprehensions over allowing their children to physically attend classes amid the threat of COVID-19.
Also, some private schools have yet to repair the classrooms that were damaged by Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) in December 2021, making it difficult to hold in-person classes, he added. Jimenez said he already relayed the matter to their central office in Manila and was now awaiting the decision of Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.
In her first order as secretary of the DepEd, Duterte ordered all public and private elementary and high schools in the country to implement the full in-person classes starting Nov. 2.
“Starting Nov. 2, 2022, all public and private schools shall have transitioned to five days of in-person classes. After the said date, no school shall be allowed to implement purely distance learning or blended learning except for those that are implementing alternative modes,” read Duterte’s order.
The school year 2022 to 2023 formally opened in public schools last Aug. 22 and would end on July 7, 2023. Private schools were allowed to deviate from the DepEd’s school calendar as long as they started classes not earlier than the first Monday of June and not later than the last day of August.
The DepEd said schools that have yet to implement five days of in-person classes were allowed to hold blended or full distance learning classes only until Oct. 31.
Meanwhile, at least 1,000 classrooms in public schools in Central Visayas could not be used yet after these were damaged by Odette.
Central Visayas, which is composed of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor, was among those ravaged by Odette on Dec. 16, 2021.
Jimenez said Duterte vowed to do her best so the classrooms will be repaired as soon as possible.
As of last week, Jimenez said 70 percent of public schools in Central Visayas have started implementing in-person classes.
Considering the number of students and the shortage of classrooms, Jimenez said they will continue to implement the “shifting strategy” or the sharing of one room during certain days and times.
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