By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) must ensure the welfare of both teachers and parents as it pushes through with the “physical” or face-to-face enrollment starting this week, said Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) National Chairperson Benjo Basas on Tuesday.
TDC, a 30,000-strong group, also asked the DepEd to issue “clear” guidelines on the work arrangement of its personnel – particularly its teachers. “The DepEd should make an amendment to the rules that strictly order teachers to work from home,” Basas said.
DepEd is currently conducting a month-long enrollment covering both public and private schools. The enrollment period, which started on June 1, is being conducted remotely – with teachers leading and guiding the parents on the registration of learners for the coming School Year (SY) 2020-2021.
For the past two weeks, DepEd instructed schools to ensure that there will be no face-to-face registration amid the COVID-19 situation in the country. However, recognizing that there might be parents and learners who do not have access to technology, DepEd has set the remaining two weeks of the enrollment period for them.
In DepEd Order No. 008 s. 2020 or the Guidelines on Enrollment for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 in the Context of the Public Health Emergency due to COVID-19, Education Secretary Leonor Briones stressed that “making physical appearance in school for enrollment purposes shall be the last option for parents or guardians or learners.”
Briones stressed that such appearances – if necessary – “shall be guided by the minimum health and safety protocols in the locality, and properly coordinated as to date and time, and with LGU [local government units] officials up to the barangay level.”
The enrollment covers learners from Kindergarten to Grade 12 – including transferees, “Balik-Aral” enrollees or those who went back to school and resumed study after year/s of dropping out or discontinuing study and Alternative Learning System (ALS) enrollees.
This coming school year, DepEd will implement blended and distance learning modalities wherein lessons will be delivered to the students in the comfort and safety of their homes through the various methods such as printed or digital modules delivered to the homes of the students, or picked up by their parents at designated places, within coordinated schedules; online learning resources such as the DepEd Commons; and television or radio-based instruction.
DepEd said that the “status quo on work arrangements for officials, teaching and nonteaching personnel in entire DepEd nationwide is extended until June 21, 2020.”
Likewise, DepEd said that “all teachers in DepEd schools nationwide shall continue to work from home until June 21, 2020, except for those authorized by the Regional Directors to render work in field or school in light of the ongoing enrollment, subject to observance of COVID-19 health and safety precautions.”