DepEd denies report obliging teachers to sign waiver for ‘physical reporting’

Marje Pelayo   •   June 26, 2020   •   890

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) advised against reports that some teachers are being asked to sign a waiver to physically report to school or DepEd offices. 

The Department stressed that physical reporting is not mandatory under DepEd Order No. 11 Series of 2020. 

“Ang mga waiver na nag-a-authorize sa DepEd personnel at mga guro na pumasok ay walang legal effect,” the advisory read.

[Waivers that authorize DepEd personnel and teachers to report physically have no legal effect.]

The DepEd explained physical reporting is only necessary if the teacher’s specific function or task cannot be accomplished through alternative and remote work arrangements.

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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, CHED say no to calls for nationwide, Luzon-wide academic freeze

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2020

College students in front of the Commission on Higher Education building calling for an end to the semester due to challenges in distance learning and the impact of recent typhoons that hit the country. (Photo courtesy: Philippine Collegian)

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities on Tuesday thumbed down calls for academic break following the spate of typhoons that devastated many areas in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said they understand the plight of many students but stressed that issuing an academic freeze is unlikely as the law clearly states the school calendar for each year.

“’Yung academic freeze ay baka sa ngayon po, humihingi po kami ng pang-unawa, ay hindi po tutugma sa batas na nabanggit ko. May batas na nagsasabi kailan ang unang araw ng pasukan at ilang araw bawat school year at kailan pupwedeng kanselahan po ito,” Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said.

Instead of academic break, Umali said the department has implemented an “academic ease,” where students are given flexible time to submit requirements and activities under the distance learning program.

“Binibigyan na po natin ngayon ng diskresyon ang ating mga guro doon sa panahon na pwedeng gugulin ng mga bata para makumpleto ito. I-extend at piliin na lang yung mga exercises na halimbawa o activity sheets na tatalakayin o ipapagawa,” he said.

CHED, for its part, said decisions on the matter of class suspensions should be left on school authorities who know best the situation in their respective areas.

CHED chairman Prospero De Vera said a unilateral suspension is not a good policy as different schools and families were affected differently by the calamities. Decisions on this matter should also be based on what is actually happening on the ground.

Calls for an “academic freeze” surfaced following consecutive strong storms that hit the country in the previous weeks.

Various groups have raised the challenges posed by the recent disasters on students and teachers amid the implementation of distance learning programs.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the recent calamities did not have much effect on education since the primary mode of instruction is modular or online learning.

He also said that instead of academic break for state universities and colleges, they will only be allowed to extend their school calendars for one to two weeks.

“At ang desisyon ng CHED, hindi po papayagan ang academic break na hinihingi ng ilan. Kundi ang decision po ng en banc ng CHED ay para i-extend po yung mga pamantasan o mga kolehiyo na di po nakapagklase dahil sa bagyo ng one or two weeks para po matapos po ang kanilang semester,” he said.

Several universities have announced week-long class suspensions in light of the impact of typhoons, and the mental burden of students and teachers amid the calamity. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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