To help ensure the safety of both students and teachers once face-to-face classes fully resume this incoming school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) will soon release a set of guidelines that would reiterate safety and health protocols to be adopted by schools.
“DepEd is also going to come up with a DO [Department Order] reiterating specifically yung [the] safety and health standards natin sa [in] schools,” said DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa in a presser early this week.
“Schools want some direction on how to implement these standards,” Poa said, noting that the department order that “will come out soon” will contain specific details on health and safety standards.
Meanwhile, Poa said that DepEd is currently “assessing” which schools will implement in-person or blended learning this incoming School Year (SY) 2022-2023.
Citing DepEd data, he noted that around 74 to 76 percent of schools nationwide implemented in-person classes last school year.
To address challenges in basic education resources, DepEd is eyeing the implementation of class shifting and the possibility of blended learning as “measures that can be taken to avoid overcrowding in classrooms.”
In July, DepEd already released the guidelines on the School Calendar and Activities for School Year 2022-2023 under its commitment to the resumption of 5 days of in-person classes.
Signed by Vice President and Secretary Sara Duterte, DepEd Order No. 034 series of 2022 has set the start of classes on Aug. 22 and will end on July 7, 2023.
“There will be 203 school days or as may be determined by further issuance/s in case of changes in the school calendar due to unforeseen circumstances,” the DepEd order read.
In the issuance, DepEd also provides direction and guidance in the re-opening of classes and the gradual introduction of 5 days of in-person learning modality classes.
As stated in DO 034, s. 2022, “there will be no inspections, tools, or any additional requirements to re-open schools and implement five (5) days of in-person classes will be required, except for the compliance with the usual pre-pandemic regulatory permits and licenses, as required by law or ordinances.”
DepEd only prescribed the options of five days of in-person classes, blended learning modality, and full distance learning until Oct. 31, and starting Nov. 2, DepEd said that “all public and private schools shall have transitioned to 5 days of in-person classes.”
The DepEd stressed that “no school shall be allowed to implement purely distance learning or blended learning” except for those implementing alternative delivery modes.