At its meeting held this afternoon, the Executive Committee of the Department of Education (DepEd) discussed the implementation of the school suspension in the National Capital Region (NCR), and its broader options in light of the latest developments and information on COVID-19, as well as its assessment of the remaining school requirements for the year.
School Year 2019-2020 is already about to end. The 4th Quarter Examinations for the graduating levels of Grades 6 and 12 are scheduled per the School Calendar on March 12-13, 2020. This is already this coming Thursday and Friday. On the other hand, the 4th Quarter Examinations for all other grade levels are scheduled on March 19-20, 2020, which is already Thursday and Friday next week. Our feedback from the field is that the essential competencies specified in the curriculum are expected to have been covered.
On the public health side, we are informed of the new confirmations that indicate local transmission and possible community transmission. The suspension of classes in NCR, as advised by the expert panel of the Department of Health (DOH) and decided by the President upon recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), constitutes a social distancing measure intended to mitigate or slow down community transmission.
Given the above considerations, the DepEd Executive Committee adopted the following directives to the field for all DepEd schools:
• In NCR, considering the class suspension directed by the President for March 10 to 14, all teachers with the supervision of the Regional, Schools Division and School officials, shall schedule all remaining 4th Quarter Examinations in the week of March 16 to 20 on a staggered basis to reduce the number of students in the school per day. Teachers shall communicate with their students on pointers for review for examination and may opt to work from home. Students shall come to school next week (March 16 to 20) on the day of their respective examination schedules.
- Outside NCR, all teachers shall use the next three days (March 11 to 13) for any 4th Quarter Examinations already scheduled, or to catch up with all remaining class requirements, and to schedule all remaining 4th Quarter Examinations for the week of March 16 to 20 on similar staggered basis. Students shall come to school next week (March 16 to 20) on the day of their respective examination schedules.
- After the 4th Quarter Examinations have been taken, any further school requirements shall as far as practicable be done as home-based assignments. Any compelling need to come to school shall observe all applicable COVID-19 precautions.
Should the public health situation prevent coming to school as outlined above, the Department shall issue a guideline for the evaluation of the final grades of all learners.
On moving up and graduation rites, each school shall have the discretion to elect the date for the holding of their rites within the week of April 13-17, 2020 taking into consideration the applicable guidelines by the DOH, and to conduct the same consistent with the DOH guidelines on mass gatherings. Should the public health situation prevent the holding of the graduation and moving up rites within the said week, the schools, in consultation with the PTA leadership, may choose to reschedule or forego the holding of graduation and moving up rites.
Private schools in the basic education level are highly encouraged to adopt the above guidelines for the remaining period of the school year.
Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones reiterates that this social distancing measure for schools will only be effective if students, parents, and the local governments will do their part in ensuring that students avoid places like malls, movie houses, markets, and similar crowded places.
DepEd will continue to closely monitor the situation and shall continue to take informed, coordinated and proportionate decisions, in close consultation with DOH and other members of the IATF, to contribute to meeting the challenge of containing and managing COVID-19.
PASIG CITY, March 10, 2020
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