The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Wednesday it will be flexible when it comes to the attendance of students in their online classes especially during inclement weather.
DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said that under the distance/blended learning approach, the attendance policy of the agency when it comes to students will largely depend on the learning delivery modality that they have chosen.
“Class attendance policy is flexible now,” San Antonio told the Manila Bulletin.
Due to the threat of COVID-19, DepEd opened this school year without in-person classes. Under the distance/blended learning approach, lessons are delivered to the students through alternative learning delivery modalities such as modular (printed and digitized), online distance learning, and television or radio-based instructions.
Among the learning delivery options, San Antonio said that the “synchronous online distance learning may be the only modality where attendance checking similar to f2f [face-to-face] classes is possible.”
This, however, does not mean that “attendance” will not be checked for students under other learning delivery options. “In other modalities, outputs could be the only basis for determining engagement of the learners in the lessons,” he added.
San Antonio noted that class suspensions may still be declared even when home-based learning is implemented especially during inclement weather or during extreme cases. “Classes may still be suspended in extreme cases like if there’s a typhoon,” he said in an earlier press briefing.
He added that the holding of classes should be reconsidered when there is a strong typhoon. “On account of heavy rains or if there’s a black out, holding classes – especially for online distance learning – might not be applicable,” he added.
Currently, the local government units (LGUs) are responsible for declaring the suspension of classes. Pursuant to Executive Order No. 66, s. 2012, cancellation or suspension of classes is no longer under the jurisdiction of DepEd. The local executives have the authority to declare class suspension based on the situation in their areas of responsibility.
The rules on automatic suspension of classes remain the same: Storm Signal No. 1 suspends classes in kindergarten; Signal No. 2 suspends classes in kindergarten, elementary, and high school; and Signal No. 3 suspends classes from kindergarten to college – including graduate schools and government offices.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Tropical Depression (TD) “Ofel” is expected to bring rains over most parts of Luzon.
In its 8 a.m. bulletin on Wednesday, PAGASA said TD “Ofel” was last observed in Sorsogon. Tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) No. 1 was also hoisted over Batangas, portions of Laguna, Quezon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, and Biliran.