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“We understand that the availability and roll out of vaccines in the country are critical factors for this undertaking. In the meantime, we shall continue preparing action plans for this activity should the President give his approval in the coming months,” the DepEd said in a statement.

DepEd’s field offices were earlier told that the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes would take place only in areas categorized as low-risk or at least under the less strict modified general community quarantine.

Holding physical classes is a “shared responsibility” with the local government unit, the parents or guardians, and the providers of transportation, according to the DepEd.

Stringent health and safety standards should be followed at home, during travel to and from the schools, and within school premises, it added.

To date, about 1,904 public schools nationwide have already been identified as possible participants for the pilot study of limited face-to-face classes.

“We shall continue to coordinate with national and local authorities and health experts, parents, teachers, and service providers. We have also started consulting our various stakeholders to address challenges in the distance learning set-up,” the DepEd said.

Duterte rejected earlier this week the proposed trials of physical classes in certain areas to avoid risking the lives of learners and teachers. (PNA)

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