Face to face classes scheduled next month
Having undergone inspection and comprehensive assessment as to health and safety protocols, some elementary and secondary schools are now on the verge of approval for face-to-face classes in the coming month of March.
These are Sto. Tomas National High School, Mil-an Senior High School, Sto Tomas Elementary School, Gibraltar ES, Spring Hills ES, Tabora ES, Happy Hallow ES. Mayor Benjamin Magalong now needs to approve a forwarded barangay resolution, as a final step.
Minimum public health standards (MPHS) should be strictly implemented; with prescriptions for air exchange flow in the passageways, classrooms and circumferential buildings once face-to-face classes start, it was known. The school’s population was also considered, with parents’ approval, teachers’ concerns and input from the community.
Earlier, an inspection team from the Health Services Office, City Engineer’s Office, Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Office and other offices went around the aforementioned schools and their vicinity to assure meticulous compliance to the provisions and safety checklist of Department of Education (Dep-Ed) Memorandum (DM 071-2022).
A perusal of the said memorandum shows minute details on the physical preparations, such as markings, use of air control, designated entrance and exit, sanitary bins, physical distance in queuing, the use of sanitizers, thermal scanners or thermometers and contact tracing facilities.
Safety officers should be designated and the availability of referral health facilities should also be of concern once a school applies for face-to-face classes. Teachers, other school personnel and the pupils should be properly informed and monitored for compliance to safety rulings. They should also be fully vaccinated.
In case of resurgence, emergency measures should also be in place, as to the Dep-Ed Memo. Disinfection and the use of protective gear, as with isolation, quarantine, treatment, coordination, including mental health issues should be attended to. A return to distance learning may also be implemented once cases surge, the Dep-Ed memo states.
For the city’s higher education institutions, Saint Louis University and University of Baguio have submitted their respective applications to conduct face-to-face classes for non-medical courses, with target dates on March 7.
A safety check for compliance should also be done in colleges, same as the elementary school level; a local government unit endorsement to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). – Julie G. Fianza