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BARMM to resume "limited" face-to-face classes in February

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur -- Selected target "pilot schools" across the Bangsamoro region are gearing up for the resumption of in-person classes next month and safe return of Bangsamoro learners after two (2) years of implementing distance learning modalities since the onslaught of Covid-19 pandemic.

This came following the ceremonial signing of the Inter-Ministry Memorandum Circular (IMMC) for the implementation of a limited face-to-face learning modality in the region on Thursday, Jan. 20.

Upholding the principle of “Shared Responsibility” for the reopening of classes, BARMM ministers in Education, Health, Interior and Local Government, Social Services, along with Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) – Director-General inked the memorandum.

The IMMC features not only the expansion of roles and responsibilities of said ministries but also include the following points: 1) coverage of Kinder to Grade 12 for the face-to-face learning modality pilot; 2) use of Adaptive Learning Modality (ALM) as a learning approach; and 3) inclusion of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language (ISAL) in the learning sessions.

Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal said after seven months of grueling meetings, seminars, and planning workshops led by the concerned technical working group, the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) is ready to implement the limited face-to-face learning modality in BARMM.

“This policy will support other BARMM ministries and the school division offices, who are patiently and tirelessly preparing for the moment to accept their learners in their school classrooms,” Iqbal said.

Reiterating that health and safety are paramount for teachers, students, and their families, Minister Iqbal said the ministry and Schools Division Offices (SDOs) will implement strict health and safety protocols and other critical directives from the BARMM Inter-Agency Task Force.

“The effectiveness of the limited face-to-face learning modality necessitates the collaboration of the BARMM government, MBHTE leaders and personnel, SDOs, schools and administrators, concerned stakeholders, and external partners,” Iqbal added.

Asec. Alfadhar Pajiji, MBHTE Focal for F2F Implementation, said public schools have undergone School Readiness Assessment (SRA) and School Safety Assessment Tool (SSAT) as benchmarks for the final list of schools in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes.

“Our approach is 33 priority list of pilot schools. Tapos kung may ma-disqualify, mag-identify tayo ng another 33 alternate list,” Pajiji said.

He added that the ministry will observe and provide weekly reports and assessments through a detailed Monitoring and Evaluation Plan to ensure that the objectives of the policy are achieved.

Further, Pajiji said that the target date of the piloting campaign for the face-to-face class will be on Monday, February 14.

The IMMC is adapted from the DepED-DOH JMC No. 1, s. 2021, and has been contextualized for BARMM. It adopts the operation framework centered on the Health and safety of learners, Learning opportunities, School operations, and Engagement of the entire society. (Datu Norhamidin D. Mamasainged/BIO)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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