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MAASIN CITY, May 20 (PIA) -- All the schools division in Eastern Visayas the region are gearing up for the possibility of coming back to school, for teachers to conduct teaching with classes done in a classroom setting, if and when President Duterte would issue such an order.

“I believe so,” Ma. Gemma Ledesma, Department of Education (DepEd) regional director, categorically replied when asked if the education department in Region 8 is 100 percent ready should a return to hold learning instruction by physical classes be resumed.

She said classrooms have been refurbished, with chairs arranged in a distance, in keeping with protocols on social, physical distancing, and hand-washing facilities were already installed.

Schools that were used as quarantine and isolation units were already disinfected, she added.

The DepEd regional head, together with Bibiano Sentillas, assistant regional director, visited the city schools division here yesterday to see what technical assistance the regional office may be able to extend, Ledesma told members of the local media in an impromptu press conference.

For her part, Josilyn Solana, city schools division superintendent, singled out radio-based instruction (RBI) mode of blended learning her division is yearning for technical support from the regional DepEd office.

Solana likewise declared readiness for the city division to go into face-to-face classes, saying that out of 18 schools used as quarantine, isolation units, only one has remained, the Maasin City Central School, the rest have long been duly disinfected and prepared for the eventual classroom-style learning.

The city DepEd head disclosed that the local government unit headed by City Mayor Nacional Mercado appropriated P1.5 million for the installation of hand-washing facilities in schools, and a commitment that every year the city government would build two kindergarten schools.

Director Ledesma expressed her thanks to the city LGU which, she said, has always been a partner for the education of the children, as well as other kinds of assistance extended during this pandemic like computers, printers, and school supplies for the modular, distance learning.

Asked how the students fared under the current scheme of studying through modules, Ledesma said there was no report of dropout so far, although the fourth grading period is still on.

The school year 2020-2021 will close by July 10, while the next school year, 2021-2022, will open August 23, Ledesma shared. (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)