BASILAN — Wearing their new uniforms with their new backpacks and school supplies, students of Mt. Trail Elementary School in Lamitan City were excited to have finally attended face-to-face classes for the first time after two years since the pandemic.
On Monday, Feb. 14, the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) has started the pilot run of the limited face-to-face classes in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM ) at five (5) elementary schools in Basilan province.
The schools include Damaso C. Furigay Jr. Memorial National High School, Mt. Trail Elementary School, Ulame Elementary School — all in Lamitan City, Akbar Elementary School in Akbar Municipality, and Upper Bans Elementary School in Lantawan Municipality.
“(We) are very much happy to welcome both our teachers and pupils. In fact, ang aga nga nila dumating dahil sa sobrang excited. Bilang head nila, ramdam namin ang pananabik ng mga bata sa pagbabalik ng face-to-face classes at masaya kami dahil ito na yun at natupad na,” said Mt. Trail Elementary School Head Jomar Dindin.
In November 2021, MBHTE conducted the schools safety assessment to 63 schools across 11 divisions in the region, 33 of the schools are priority while 30 are alternate schools for piloting.
From January 28 – February 10, 2022, MBHTE’s regional validating team visited the 33 priority schools and only 15 of them were confirmed to have 100% compliance to School Safety Assessment Tools (SSAT) to conduct the face-to-face classes.
However, since the BARMM is still under level 3 until February 15, only the five schools in Basilan — which is under level 2, were eligible to pilot the face-to-face classes on February 14.
Other validated schools with 100% SSAT compliance will start the piloting once their respective local government units will be classified under levels 1 or 2.
Teacher Sharida Jean De Guzman of Damasco C. Furigay Jr. Memorial NHS shared her excitement that the students can now finally focus on their studies. “Kasi nung time modular pa hindi namin alam kung sila ba talaga ang gumagawa ng module nila,” she said.
“To the BARMM officials, especially sa MBHTE, maraming salamat at binigyan kami ng opportunity magkaroon ng face-to-face classes kasi kailangan na talaga ng mga bata matutukan ang kanilang pag aaral, ” said Teacher De Guzman. (Arnalyn Dulla/BIO)
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