The Department of Education (DepEd) has recommended the expansion of limited face-to-face (F2F) classes in areas under Alert Level 1 and 2.

Reporting to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the pilot of F2F classes had been successful.

“[N]apakaganda ng resulta… Wala kami ni isang confirmed case of Covid, Mr. President. Sa 287 schools and 15,000 learners, wala kaming nadiskubre na nagka-Covid,” Briones said.

Briones also told Duterte that the DepEd, in coordination with the Department of Health, had adjusted the guidelines for F2F classes amid the latest surge in Covid-19 cases.

“So ang aming rekomendasyon, Mr. President, progressive expansion. Hindi ‘yung lahat-lahat sabay-sabay. Kung ang isang lugar ay Alert Level 1 and 2, selective, puwedeng mag-expand ng F2F,” she said.

Briones added that the expansion of F2F classes in Alert Level 3 areas was not yet recommended.

Participation in F2F classes amid the Covid-19 pandemic is not mandatory.

“Hindi kami mag-e-expand nang basta-basta na hindi kami mangangatok sa local governments at saka hindi namin makuha iyong written consent ng mga parents,” Briones said.

The Philippines has 280,813 active Covid-19 cases as of Jan. 17. John Ezekiel J. Hirro