Class suspension still falls under LGUs discretion—DepEd

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2020   •   245

The local government units (LGU) remain as the authority for announcing suspension of classes during calamities, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

DepEd Undersecretary Jess Mateo said the department did not release any guidelines in class suspension amid the distance learning under the new normal setting.

“Ang magdedeklara ng walang pasok ay ang mga local government units, (The local government units will declare class suspension),” he said.

DepEd also said classes will not be heavily affected since most classes are using modules and not online. Teachers can also extend deadlines for assignments and other school projects.

“Ang mga guro natin nagbibigay naman ng konsiderasyon kasi alam nila ang estado ng kanilang mga mag-aaral, (Teachers will provide consideration because they know they situation of the students),” Mateo said. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Face-to-face classes will only be allowed upon Duterte, IATF approval – DepEd

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education has stressed that it will only allow the conduct of face-to-face classes upon the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the government’s policy prohibiting in-person classes will remain amid the coronavirus pandemic, although the department is looking into the possibility of reintroducing face-to-face classes next year.

She said a report to be submitted to the president on the opening of classes and DepEd’s recommendations is being finalized.

“We are preparing a report for the President on our current experience with the opening of classes, at klaro naman na kung magkaroon ng face to face, it will be very limited to areas which are absolutely safe. There will be conditions from the Department of Health; there will also be conditions coming from us. Hindi po lahat-lahat, [hindi] sabay-sabay iyan na mag-face to face, kung payag si President,” Briones said.

“At saka, depende sa approach iyan, kasi iyong number of students, etc. So we are [also] now looking into that,” she added.

The school year opened last October 5 with blended forms of learning through self-learning modules, internet and TV- and radio-based instructions.

The DepEd chief also reiterated its earlier statement that it did not approve any localized and limited face-to-face learning workshops.

“Uulitin ko, definitely not this year at definitely walang mga arrangements right now with kung sinumang mga grupo na magpi-face to face at this time because the President has not made any pronouncement at all. Pero [patuloy kaming] magri-report kami sa kaniya,” Briones said.

Meanwhile, the Education chief also directed a study on reconceptualizing learning spaces post-COVID, which include not just classroom, but homes, community spaces, and virtual space.

DepEd clarifies reports on the passing of a learner along with three other ‘out-of-school’ children in Biñan, Laguna

Marje Pelayo   •   November 27, 2020

File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) clarified the events that led to the passing of a learner along with three other “out-of-school” children in Biñan, Laguna.

The agency explained that based on incident reports of the Schools Division Office of Binan and the police,  the victims did not drown in an attempt to submit self-learning modules contrary to allegations made by some news items and social media posts.

According to the police report, they went out to deliver clothes to the fisherman father of two of the victims. This was confirmed by the fisherman father himself. 

On the day of the incident, the public was informed that schools were closed due to recent typhoons and flooding and thus, retrieval of the learning materials were also suspended.

DepEd has already reached out to the concerned media outlet to rectify or delete the article.

“We also appeal to everyone that we should thoroughly check the information we are reporting to the public,” DepEd’s statement read.

“Regardless, we are encouraging our field offices to continue implementing academic ease measures in the distance learning set up to ensure the safety and well-being of our learners, as well as our teachers and personnel, in these trying times.  We must not compromise anyone’s health and safety in our mission to deliver quality education,” it added.

The Central Office is currently coordinating with the SDO of Biñan City for assistance, which will be provided by the field office, in coordination with private partners, as soon as possible.

DepEd distances from VP Leni’s community learning hub project

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday distanced itself from the community learning hub project led by the Office of the Vice President (OVP), stressing that the government’s no face-to-face classes policy remains amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones made the statement amid the operation of community learning hubs in various localities in the country.

These hubs are places that provide support for students who may not have access to computers, stable internet connection and other equipment required for online learning and modular distance learning amid the pandemic.

“Ang polisiya namin, dahil sinusunod namin ang utos ng Presidente, hindi natin yan ina-allow,” Briones said.

“Wala naman sa authority ng DepEd na mag-anunsyo ng ganung klase na i-reverse natin ang sinasabi ng Presidente,” she added.

In October, Vice President Leni Robredo led the launching of a community learning hub in Pasig City. The facility only allows entry to a total of 10 persons, including six students, at a time.

Persons entering the hub are required to strictly observe health and safety protocols to prevent the possible transmission of COVID-19.

According to Briones, a request for the establishment of these hubs was sent by the OVP, but stressed that the DepEd is not involved in such a move.

“Last August, nag-request ang office ng Vice President na nagsasabi na sina-suggest nila ang project na yan. Tapos, sinagot namin. Humingi kami ng details. Tapos, on record yan lahat at saka binigyan namin ng kopya ang President at saka ang Executive Secretary ng aming mga sagot. So, on record yan lahat,” the DepEd chief said.

Briones said that since DepEd does not allow face-to-face classes, the OVP directly coordinated with the local government units (LGU).

“So ang sitwasyon ngayon, halimbawa sa Pasig, nag-coordinate sila sa LGU ng Pasig dahil hindi naman in-approve ng Division superintendent ‘yun,” she said.

The DepEd chief said the OVP also planned to open a similar hub in Caloocan City but it was not approved by the LGU.

It also coordinated with the Taytay LGU in Rizal but Briones said the DepEd is not involved in the initiative. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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