Thu, 20 Jan 2022

GENERAL SANTOS CITY - Three more public schools here opened limited face-to-face classes on Monday and more are undergoing assessment for possible expansion in the coming weeks.

Romelito Flores, Department of Education (DepEd) city division superintendent, said the three schools are situated in two barangays - San Jose and Olympog - that have posted low incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases since last year.

These are the Klolang Elementary School and Datu Balunto High School in San Jose and Balakayo Elementary School in Olympog.

"We now have four public schools that have limited face-to-face classes and the feedback has been very positive," he told reporters.

The initial classroom-based classes opened last November 15 in Aspang Elementary School in Barangay San Jose as part of its pilot rollout nationwide.

Flores said they expect that more schools within the city's 26 barangays will also get approval from the local government and concerned stakeholders to hold face-to-face classes.

He said the assessment is ongoing for the targeted expansion schools based on the DepEd's school safety assessment tool, which mainly determines the school's readiness to conduct limited face-to-face classes.

Two private schools here are also processing the necessary requirements for the holding of the traditional classroom classes, he said.

The DepEd central office and the Department of Health have set at least four requirements for a school's eligibility to hold the limited in-person classes.

These are the concurrence and approval from the local Inter-Agency Task Force against Covid-19 as well as the city, municipal, and barangay governments; permit or consent from parents; fully vaccinated participating teachers; and the schools' readiness in terms of compliance with the DOH protocols.

The city, which is currently under Alert Level 2, remained under the low-risk status to Covid-19 infections since early October.

On Sunday night, the active Covid-19 cases in the area further dropped to 60, one of the lowest numbers since March.

The confirmed infections in the area since last year have reached a total of 14,213, with 558 related deaths and 13,595 recoveries. (PNA)

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