Cebu City Executive: 13 mountain barangay schools prepare for face-to-face lessons

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Cebu City Councilman Joel Garganera, Deputy Chief Executive of the EOC, meets with the Central Visayas Department of Education for the return of face-to-face classes in the city’s mountain barangays. | Photo courtesy of Councilor Garganera

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Central Visayas Department of Education (DepEd) are preparing for the return of face-to-face classes in the mountain barangays of the Cebu City.

Councilor Joel Garganera, EOC’s deputy implementer, said they held a consultative meeting with DepEd-7 and USAid ReachHealth for the face-to-face classes offered in elementary and secondary schools.

“We have already started processing applications for face-to-face courses to various courses under CHED. This morning we had a fruitful meeting at the EOC with the DepEd represented by Dr. Theron Aranas and the NGO (non-governmental organization), USAID represented by Dianne Laborte.

“We (DepEd) already have 13 schools identified, mostly in mountain barangays, which will be our pilot for our face-to-face lessons. Unfortunately, Typhoon Odette ruined everything. Supposedly magsugod unta sa march. (Supposedly we will start in March.) Karon (now) we are looking at opening classes in August or September,” Garganera said.

The 13 mountain barangay schools that will be the pilot area for face-to-face classes are:

1. Sibugay Integrated School

2. Pamutan Integrated School

3. Mangabon Primary School

4. Cantipla Integrated School

5. Tabunan Integrated School

6. Sinsin National High School

7. Deosis Primary School

8. Lusaran National High School

9. Tagbao National High School

ten. Taptap Integrated School

11. Sinsin Primary School

12. Adlaon Integrated School

13. Bitlang Integrated School

Garganera said the schools should have started face-to-face in March, but as many suffered damage during the typhoon, they were not yet ready for the transition.

Mayor Michael Rama has already instructed the LSB to take an inventory of schools in the typhoon-affected mountain barangays for immediate repair or construction.

With the help of DepEd, USAid and the Local School Board (LSB), the adviser expects these schools to be ready by the new school year in August or September.

USAid has also expressed its intention to support the operations of resuming face-to-face classes by providing seminars to teachers and facilitators.

“As face-to-face classes are now permitted under Alert Level 2, we must continue to be cautious as COVID is still here. Minimum health protocols must still be observed at all times,” Garganera said.

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