DepEd says no to mass, automatic passing of students
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has rejected the idea of automatically granting passing grades to students this year amid the threat of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
Students nationwide were supposed to take their final exams this week. However, Metro Manila students would not be able to do so as classes have been suspended from March 10 to March 14 because of the virus.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said she does not agree with the concept of “mass passing” students because of the disease.
“Hindi kami sang-ayon (We do not agree). We do not advocate mass promotion. Nakita na namin ang resulta niyan noon (We saw the results of that before),” she said in a press conference.
“No mass passing, no automatic passing, no mass promotion because [these are] not the policy of the Duterte administration,” Briones added.
She said that once classes resume next week, the exams would be administered on a staggered basis so as to control the number of students coming to school.
The DepEd said that should the situation worsens and the resumption of classes and administering exams would not be permitted, teachers already have a basis for what to grade students as it is already almost the end of the school year.
“Sa tingin namin, nasa huling yugto na ng school year, ay may sapat na batayan para bigyan ng grado sa fourth quarter, even in the absence of a final test,” DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said in the press conference.
(We think that since we’re at the end phase of the school year, the teachers have enough basis to grade students for the fourth quarter, even in the absence of a final test.)
To date, the Philippines has 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier declared a state of health emergency due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases.
The DOH has also raised Code Red Sublevel 1 after it confirmed the country’s first local transmission of the disease.
The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.
The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.
Coronavirus is a family of viruses, whose surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.
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