The Department of Education (DepEd) is set to strongly push for the expansion of limited face-to-face (F2F) classes in the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic, an official said on Friday.

In a “Laging Handa” briefing, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the pilot of F2F classes had been successful.

“We assessed for overall attendance ng mga bata na lumahok dito, as much as 83 percent on overall. Iyong feeling of safety noong mga bata at saka mga magulang, ang mga guro ay mataas din ang kanilang feedback,” Malaluan said.

Malaluan said that the DepEd would meet with the Department of Health (DOH) to discuss protocols for expanded F2F classes.

“Hinihintay na lang natin iyong ating pagpupulong with DOH on the Covid outlook. But overall, iyong ating kinonsolidate na report that we are set to submit to the Office of the President ay naging matagumpay iyong ating pilot F2F,” he said.

“Subject lang doon sa aming pagpupulong with DOH on Monday ay the Department of Education maybe we can recommend and really strongly push for the progressive and expansion of the F2F classes,” he added.

Among the refinements to be discussed are the placement of plexiglass barriers in classrooms and the automatic suspension of classes depending on alert levels, the DepEd undersecretary said.

The pilot F2F classes in Metro Manila were earlier deferred due to rising Covid-19 cases.

The latest surge prompted the government to raise Alert Level 3 in several areas, which imposed additional restrictions on mobility. John Ezekiel J. Hirro