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   •   221

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.

1,114 schools nominated for pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in January — DepEd

Marje Pelayo   •   December 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Regional Directors of the Department of Education (DepEd) nominated a total of 1,114 school candidates for the pilot implementation of the face-to-face classes in January 2021.

Most of them are in Regions 4A and 8 which passed the conditions set by DepEd like location and if the schools have management plans for students, teachers as well as available facilities.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said they are not expecting all 1,114 schools to qualify as they will still be evaluated.

“The other regions nagba-vary pero ang (vary but the) final listing will be very much lesser than the 1,114 considering na may ibang factor tayong tinitingnan, ikino-consider (that we are also looking into other factors),” the Secretary said.

Meanwhile, schools in Davao Region, Cotabato and the National Capital Region are not included in the list of potential venues for the dry run.

DepEd NCR Director Malcolm Garma said the NCR remains under general community quarantine (GCQ) though they are still hoping for the situation to improve soon.

Tignan po natin pagdating po ng Enero kung ano po ang magiging estado ng National Capital Region pagdating po sa community quarantine level (Let’s see what the status of the NCR will be come January when it comes to community quarantine level),” he said.

“Maaari pong doon natin ibabatay kung handa na po ang NCR para lumahok sa gagawing pilot limited face to face (We will see then if the NCR is ready to take part of the limited face-to-face classes),” he added.

DepEd also clarified that though face-to-face classes will be implemented, it will not be mandatory for all students given the limited room capacity of 15 to 20 persons.

“Hindi po full class size at hindi rin po full week schedule ang mga bata, kundi combine pa rin po ito sa distance learning (It will not be a full class size nor a full week schedule for the children. It will still be combined with distance learning),” said DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan.  —MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)

DepEd Usec. Pascua contracts COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   December 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Alain Pascua on Friday confirmed he has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“As a government official, it is my duty to inform the public that I tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, December 10,” Pascua said in a statement.

He said he was exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual last Friday, December 4, and experienced mild symptoms on Tuesday, December 8.

He said he is currently in a hospital for quarantine procedures and medical observation.

“I have already advised my staff who had close contact with me last week to self-quarantine as an extra precautionary measure the central office has also coordinated with local health authorities to conduct contact tracing and other necessary interventions to ensure the safety of everyone,” he said.

Pascua, however, said that he will continue to carry out his duties for the department and will still attend meetings virtually and “make necessary decisions for the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration.”

Units under his watch will also continue to execute their mandates and functions, he added.

“Nonetheless, this may serve as a reminder for everyone not to be complacent in protecting themselves against the virus, especially during this holiday season,” he said.

“We must continue following health protocols such as wearing masks, physical distancing, and washing of hands,” he added.

Last day of classes in public schools for 2020 is Dec. 12 – DepEd

Marje Pelayo   •   December 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced that the last day of classes in public schools for the first quarter of schoolyear 2020-2021 will be on December 12.

In a Facebook post, DepEd said the holiday break for kindergarten to grade 12 students nationwide will be from December 19, 2020 to January 3, 2021.

Classes are expected to resume on January 4, 2021.

Teachers, meanwhile, are set to have their In-Service Training (INSET) week from December 14 to 19, 2020.

The schedule is based on DepEd Order No. 30. Series of 2020 signed by Education Secretary Leonor Briones on October 2020.

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