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Face-to-face classes dry-run suspended due to new COVID threat

THE Department of Education (DepEd) is suspending the pilot test of face-to-face classes on 2021.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday recalled his approval for a dry run of face-to-face classes next year, as a new coronavirus variant emerged and began spreading in Europe.

“I’m calling back the order and I will not allow face-to-face classes for the children until we are through with this,” Duterte said in a televised briefing on Saturday

Education Secretary Leonor Briones confirmed that President Duterte has recalled his earlier approval of the pilot implementation/dry run of face-to-face classes in low-risk areas, originally scheduled in January 2021.

This is in light of the emerging concern over the reported new strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 or the SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01 (Variant Under Investigation, year 2020, month 12, variant 01).

“Pursuant to the President ‘s instruction, DepEd is suspending the said pilot run of face-to-face classes until further notice,” Briones said in a statement .

“The Department will fully cooperate with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in its response to the current situation”.

Duterte had approved the dry run in mid-December. Voluntary face-to-face classes were supposed to be tested in selected schools located in areas with low COVID-19 risk.

DepEd earlier said around 1,114 schools in “low-risk areas” are set to conduct a dry–run of the face-to-face classes after they agreed to the proposal of the education department.

The total number of schools in the country is 61,000.