MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Tuesday that the School Safety Assessment Tool (SSAT) has been updated, and it will be used to determine whether schools are ready to engage in the extension of in-person classes.
SSAT was updated, according to the Department of Education, based on the monitoring and evaluation findings of the pilot implementation, as well as the current conditions of the schools that are important to safe reopening.
The modified SSAT focuses on four sections: school operations, teaching and learning, well-being and protection, and school-community coordination.
“We ensure that the health, safety, and well-being of our learners, teachers, and personnel remain as our utmost priority. Our revised SSAT will help the Department mobilize the progressive expansion of our face-to-face classes in areas under Alert 1 and 2,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
According to the Department of Education, schools must get help from community stakeholders as part of the “managing school operations”, highlighting the shared responsibility framework.
“They must conduct simulation activities among school personnel regarding managing the conduct of face-to-face classes, and the school must ensure that learners who will participate in the expansion must submit parent’s consent,” DepEd said.
Meanwhile, the major indicator of a school’s preparedness to “focus on teaching and learning” is ensuring a sufficient supply of learning resources required in the expansion and design of class programs that serve both face-to-face and distance learning education.
Participating schools must also create strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission among stakeholders while maintaining basic mental health and psychosocial assistance to assure their safety and well-being.
Schools must develop plans for collaborating with local government units to guarantee that health protocols are followed and that school-based immunization is implemented.
As of April 18, a total of 26,997 schools had been nominated to be part of the face-to-face class expansion.
Of these schools, 23, 963 have already begun implementing the progressive expansion of in-person classes, according to DepEd. – WhatALife!