DepEd limits screen time for online classes

  • 1 hour for kindergarten 
  • 1.5 hours for Grade 1-5 
  • 2 hours for Grade 6-8 
  • 4 hours for Grade 9-12

The Department of Education (DepEd) reminded teachers and parents that the screen time for students who will be attending online distance learning (ODL) classes this upcoming school year must be limited to 1-4 hours daily depending on their respective grade levels. 


DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio issued Memorandum DM-CI-2020-00162 which outlines the suggested strategies in implementing distance learning delivery modalities (DLDM) for school year (SY) 2020-2021. One of the learning delivery modalities for formal education is ODL. 

San Antonio noted that a class adopting ODL “shall follow the regular planning standards in the organization of classes set by the DepEd.” 

“It shall be applicable in schools where both the teachers and learners have access to digital devices, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers, with available online resources and Internet connectivity,” he explained. 

San Antonio noted that schools may adopt a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online teaching in consideration of the Screen Time Guidelines by Age as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and World Health Organization (WHO). 

For Kindergarten, the prescribed screen time should be a maximum of one hour daily. For pupils under Grades 1 to 5, the DepEd said that the maximum should be 1.5 hours daily. 

For students in Grades 6 to 8, DepEd recommends a maximum of 2 hours screen time daily. 

The DepEd said students in higher grades – such as those in Grades 9 to 12 – will be allowed to spend a maximum of 4 hours daily (2 hours in the morning and another 2 hours in the afternoon) as screen time. In the preparation of the Weekly Home Learning Plan and Class Programs, DepEd enjoined teachers and schools to “comply with the recommended screen time for learners.” 

In the ODL, the DepEd said that the learning resources to be used are, but not limited to, the following: selflearning modules (SLMs), textbooks (TXs), Primer Lessons, activity sheets, teacher-made videos and other supplementary learning materials, and Open Educational Resources (OERs). 

The DepEd noted that self-learning modules and Primer Lessons shall be converted into different digital content formats such as video/audio lessons, interactive/inclusive electronic SLMs (e-SLMs) and shall be available through the DepEd Learning Resources Portal, DepEd Commons, DepEd Learning Management System (LMS) and/or different DepEd recognized LMS (DepEd Aide Memoire, 2019), such as Edmodo, Google Classroom, Schoology, and the Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (Moodle). 

“Where feasible, learners may also be provided with printed copies of SLMs in consideration of the allowable screen time by key stage or as a support should there be a power interruption,” San Antonio added. 

Aside from ODL, the DepEd reminded that Distance Learning may be implemented through the other delivery modalities such as Modular Distance Learning (MDL) which can be Digital Modular Distance Learning (DMDL) or Printed Modular Distance Learning (PMDL); TV-Video/Radiobased Instruction (TV-Video/RBI) which can be TV-Video (SLM-based), TV-Video (MELCs Mapped), or RadioBased Instruction (RBI); and Blended Distance Learning (BDL).