October 6, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) announces the initial selection of 59 public schools from the 638 nominated schools after passing the granular risk assessment of the Department of Health (DOH) as of October 2.

These identified schools were carefully tagged by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau as minimal or low risk, based on the Alert Levels by provinces/highly urbanized cities (HUC)/ independent component cities (ICC) and risk category by municipality and city.

Guided by the DepEd-DOH Joint Memorandum Circular on the Pilot Implementation of Face-to-Face Classes, we are in the process of providing additional layers of protection for these schools in preparation for the pilot phase. We are set to conduct extensive coordination with concerned local government units and multi-level and multi-sectoral orientation among involved stakeholders. We will also administer site inspection and simulation to ensure the availability of school implementation and contingency plan, hygiene and sanitation materials, handwashing facilities, and standard classrooms, among others.

Meanwhile, the DOH will provide a rolling assessment every Monday to increase the number of participating schools to 120. DepEd Regional Directors may submit justification for inclusion of specific schools, for further evaluation by DOH.

As we look to implement the actual pilot run this year, we are seeking everyone’s support in the gradual reintroduction of physical classes moving forward. Our commitment of shared responsibility to protect everyone is our key to safely return to our schools.