Only eight of 10 students have attended classes under the government’s pilot run of face-to-face classes after some of them showed flu-like symptoms, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Friday. 

“We’re barely hitting the surface,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian told a Senate hearing. “It’s only 44% of the total number of schools and 80% of the total number of students.” 

“Before we can transition to the new normal phase, we hope that we can get a larger number of schools that can participate in the expansion phase,” Education Assistant Secretary Malcolm S. Garma told senators. 

Of 287 participating schools, 265 are public and the rest are private, the agency said. About 23,000 students were participating in physical classes. 

Mr. Garma cited challenges during the pilot run, including limited time and resources. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan