By Eden C. Penados
Teacher I
Cabrera-Altres National High School
Surigao City Division

On February 28 this year, we saw our Grades 11 and 12 learners once again, with their faces flashing visible enthusiasm and excitement as they walked along the school hallways on their way to attend their first face-to-face classes.
For them, it was a refreshing break from the two-year grind of being confined in a homeroom dealing with self-learning modules that sometimes demanded more of their time, effort, and patience amid the drastic lifestyle change imposed by the health crisis. It was also a break for us, teachers, who now deal with the old-fashioned chalk and erasers instead of printers and computers, interacting with learners under a fun classroom discussion instead of sending messages via group chats in Messenger. We have always prayed to go back to face-to-face classes, be maskless and live a life that we have always wanted.

On January 24, 2022, Cabrera-Altres National High School (CANHS) underwent a thorough evaluation for schools applying for face-to-face classes under the following criteria: School Safety Assessment Tool, Rural Health Unit Certification (no Covid 19 cases in the area), Learner Vaccination Status, signed consent from the parents and the PTA, and the written concurrence of the Barangay Council. The evaluators from the Regional Field Technical Assistance Team (RFTAT), namely Regional Chief Administrative Officer Joel B. Rosales, Education Program Supervisor Dr. Maria Consuelo C. Jamera, Regional Human Resource Officer Mrs. Sheryl R. Puyo, and Teacher Credentials Evaluator Mrs. Fe M. Baring, scoured the documents and gave us a thumbs up.
On February 24, 2022, the DepEd Caraga Regional Office issued Regional Memorandum 0119, s. 2022, citing our school among those qualified to participate in the Progressive Expansion of Limited Face-to-Face Classes – to the delight of the 41 learners from Grade 11 and 29 learners from Grade 12 and the entire community.

The classes started with a Psychological First Aid (PFA) Seminar for learners affected by both the pandemic and Typhoon Odette, facilitated by our teachers. They are our mental health advocates, guidance support staff, guidance coordinator, and advisers who likewise had attended a PFA conducted by the personnel from DepEd Region XI (Davao) last February 16.

Teacher Wenefredo Cornita Jr. could not hide his excitement. “I really miss our daily interaction … it feels so new and surreal,” said the Grade 12 Fransisco adviser before entering his classroom.
One possibility has become a reality for our beloved CANHS. As the faculty and staff work hand in hand with our stakeholders, partners, and our ever-reliable school leader, Hermiette Ferrer-Lerog, we experienced a true victory in unity. Education has continued, and no catastrophe was able to stop it. Now, their enthusiasm and hope rekindled and reborn in the classroom, inside familiar walls.
Sulong edukalidad! Lablab ra gajud always in CANHS!
Tungod kay, Gugma an Kanunay Nagdasig sa CANHSians!

END