The conduct of in-person activities will now be allowed in schools as long as these are held after class hours, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced.
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte signed on Jan. 26 the DepEd Order No.003 series of 2023 which allowed the conduct of face-to-face activities in schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Curricular and co-curricular activities that involve the in-person gathering of a number of participants shall be allowed,” Duterte said.
The said order, she added, was issued for the “guidance of learners, personnel, parents, guardians, and other stakeholders relative to the conduct of in-person school activities” in line with the commitment of the department to deliver quality basic education in a safe learning environment to learners.
To ensure the safe resumption and reintroduction of the conduct of in-person school activities, DepEd said that schools make sure that these are “consistent with the public health standards of the government” in light of Covid-19.
As part of the issued guidelines, Duterte said that curricular activities shall be conducted during the academic quarter to “ensure that learners can seamlessly connect and integrate learning within and across learning areas.”
For co-curricular activities, DepEd said that these shall be conducted after the quarterly examinations to avoid disruption of classes.
While Item 33 of DepEd Order No. 034, s. 2022 dated July 11, 2022, provides that “the conduct of extra-curricular activities shall be strictly prohibited,” DepEd clarified that “only those extracurricular activities held during class hours are prohibited.”
“The conduct of in-person extra-curricular activities shall be allowed, provided that these activities are conducted after class hours,” Duterte said.
For public schools, DepEd said that the officials must ensure the “strict observance of these guidelines during the conduct of in-person curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities.”
Private schools, community learning centers, as well as state/local universities and colleges (SUCs /LUCs), on the other, may choose to adopt the provisions of the latest issuance as a basis in the conduct of in-person curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities.