After a two-week vacation, classes on all basic education levels in public schools are scheduled to resume Monday, the Department of Education (DepEd) said.
Based on the amended school calendar for school year (SY) 2020-2021 contained in DepEd Order No. 30, Series of 2020, the resumption of classes on the basic education level in public schools is scheduled on Jan. 4.
As cited in the adjusted school calendar, the last day of classes for Quarter 1 or first grading period was Dec. 12. The holiday break for public schools officially started on Dec. 19 and ends Jan. 3.
In the same school calendar, classes from Kindergarten to Grade 12 for this school year officially started last Oct. 5.
To help students and teachers under the new learning set-up, DepEd adjusted the first quarter of the school year from Nov. 28 to Dec. 12. The succeeding quarters were also adjusted – the second quarter will start Jan. 4 and ends on Feb. 27; the third quarter will be from Mar. 1 to April 24; and the fourth quarter starts on April 26 and ends on June 11.
To ensure the safety of teachers and students amid the COVID-19 crisis, DepEd is implementing distance learning as a major component of learning delivery this school year.
Under this set up, students are not allowed to physically go to school and learning is home-based. Students learn their lessons through multiple learning delivery modalities such as modular (printed and offline), online, radio and television-based instruction, and blended learning or a combination of two or more modalities.
Noting that face-to-face classes “remain a necessity for education,” DepEd had earlier asked President Duterte to allow the pilot implementation of limited in-person classes in select schools from Jan. 4 to 15.
This was initially approved but the President recalled his decision in light of the emerging concern over the reported new COVID-19 strain. Pursuant to the President’s instruction, DepEd suspended the pilot run of face-to-face classes “until further notice.”
To further prepare its personnel, DepEd conducted the In-Service Training (INSET) Week for its personnel from Dec. 14 to 19. The INSET is a learning and development activity for teachers and staff to help them update their knowledge, skills, and competencies.
DepEd included the Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCs)-based Quarter 2 planning for Distance Learning Delivery Modalities (DLDM) in the INSET. Since teachers will be required to attend the INSET-related activities, there were also no classes for students during that time.
And to further assist teachers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency launched “DepEd Teaches” during the mid-year INSET Week. It was an online program featuring episodes that focus on steps and initiatives in overcoming the challenges in providing education in the new normal.
The initiative was under the Curriculum and Instruction strand to support the efforts of the DepEd in communicating with various stakeholders. Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio explained that the program also aims to “address confusion and doubts on curriculum, instruction, and assessment initiatives of the Department.”