The Department of Education (DepEd) is anticipating the expansion of face-to-face (F2F) classes in all grade levels by January next year if the pilot resumption is successful.
Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said that from the current Kindergarten to Grade 3 levels, DepEd is looking to expand to higher grade levels in the expanded pilot phase.
They are looking at a nationwide expansion by next year in schools that will be able to pass the readiness requirements.
“With the condition that it will not depart from the pilot character, we are accelerating the completion of the pilot phase. We intend to submit our report to the President by the end of December. We anticipate the recommendation of an expansion by next year,” Malaluan said in an interview.
He noted that DepEd and the Department of Health have been given authority by President Duterte to determine the number of schools that will participate in streamlining processes in the expanded pilot F2F.
Still, Malaluan said they are anticipating more challenges once it ramps up expansion, especially in congested urban areas such as Metro Manila.
“Scale is one of the key considerations that we will be working with. It is manageable now but when we scale it up, there will be more to manage at all levels of governance in the DepEd,” he said.
Malaluan said the agency is satisfied with the first few days of pilot resumption, even if there were some glitches such as teachers testing positive in an antigen test in Zambales.
The three public schools were able to resume classes after a confirmatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test showed that they were negative for COVID-19.