Rules issued for exemptions from in-person classes
The Department of Education (DepEd) has released the guidelines for public schools seeking exemption from the full implementation of in-person classes.
In a memorandum released on Thursday, DepEd recognizes that some schools “may be temporarily unable to comply with the requirement of five days in-person classes” that may be due to “circumstances beyond their control.”
Under DepEd Order No. 50, schools may apply for exemption if they are experiencing delays in the repair or construction of school facilities due to calamities or when a classroom is being used as a temporary evacuation center.
Shortage of teachers, classrooms and furniture, as well as the “existence of unfavorable peace and order situation” in the school’s location and the immediate need for relocation of the school with a certification from appropriate government agencies are also valid reasons for exemption, according to the order. To request for exemption, the DepEd order mandates, among other requirements, that schools should be able to substantiate in writing the “exceptional circumstance” they are experiencing. The head of the requesting school must also ensure that the school has exhausted “all possible ways and means” to comply with the mandatory five-day in-person classes. According to the order, the schools division superintendent will evaluate the request of public elementary and secondary schools “for the implementation of blended learning modality due to exceptional circumstances.”
In DO 30, as amended by DO 44, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte requires all public schools to transition to five days of in-person classes.
“After the said date, no public school shall be allowed to implement purely distance learning or blended learning,” the order stated.
DO 30 excluded schools granted with an exemption, whose classes are canceled due to disasters and calamities or those implementing alternative delivery modes, such as home schooling.
Based on DepEd’s latest data, 774 out of 827 public schools in Metro Manila, or 94 percent, are already implementing the mandatory five-day in-person classes, while 53 schools are allowed to continue with blended learning.
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