Private schools that offer the basic education program are expected to adhere to the same guidelines set by the Department of Education (DepEd) to public schools.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma, in a virtual presser this week, said that private schools that intend to participate in the expansion phase of limited face-to-face classes will have to refer to the interim guidelines issued by DepEd.
“We will be applying the same guidelines for private schools,” Garma said, referring to the Office Order (OO-OSEC-2022-003) titled “Interim Guidelines on the Expansion of Limited Face-to-face Classes” issued by Education Secretary Leonor Briones dated Feb. 2, 2022.
Garma noted that heads of private schools may be authorized to set the dates when they will start with expanded face-to-face classes as long as they have complied with the requirements set by DepEd and the Department of Health (DOH).
“What is important here is that they are compliant with what we have in the guidelines,” Garma said.
While there might be “some changes in the submission of requirements,” Garma assured that the same guidelines will be implemented for private schools when it comes to implementing the expansion phase of limited face-to-face classes.
“What’s important is that they comply with SSAT and other requirements like the concurrence of local government units and consent coming from parents of learners who will participate,” Garma said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Garma stressed that DepEd is adopting the “progressive expansion” of face-to-face classes to allow the local school heads to make the necessary adjustments depending on the conditions on the ground.
DepEd, Garma said, did not issue a “specific date” for schools to start their implementation of expanded face-to-face classes since the Alert Levels or restrictions are “very dynamic.”
“Walang specific date, only indicative dates,” Garma said, noting the eligible public and private schools may start implementing expanded face-to-face classes from Feb. 1 to 15 as long as these are located in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2.
Garma also explained that Regional Directors (RDs) have also been authorized to continue the implementation of limited face-to-face classes of the original pilot schools and the commencement of the progressive expansion phase for both public and private schools under various parameters.
Given this, school heads of participating schools may already start with their limited face-to-face classes. They are also expected to make the necessary adjustments should there be changes in the alert level status in their respective areas.