The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday announced that 177 more schools would be included in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes (F2F) across the country.

The DepEd said the 177 schools were assessed by the Department of Health (DepEd) and local government units.

The department earlier allowed 120 schools to participate in the pilot.

The first batch of the pilot limited F2F classes started on Nov. 15.

President Rodrigo Duterte has given the DepEd and DOH the authority to decide on expanding the coverage of the pilot.

In-person classes are subject to a safety assessment by the DepEd and the approval of local government units.

Students qualified to participate in pilot classes must provide signed consent forms from their parents before being allowed to attend.

Participation of school personnel and learners in the in-person classes is voluntary. John Ezekiel J. Hirro