The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday, Nov. 3, released the guidelines for public schools that seek exemption from the full implementation of face-to-face classes.

Malanday Elementary School in Marikina City served as a temporary shelter for evacuees who were affected by Supertyphoon Karding in September 2022. (NOEL PABALATE / MANILA BULLETIN)

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte signed DepEd Order No. 50 series of 2022 which outlined the operational guidelines for the approval of the extension of the implementation of blended learning modality in select public elementary and secondary schools beyond Nov. 2, 2022.

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In the newly-issued DepED Order, Duterte said that public elementary and secondary schools that were “unable to comply with the mandated five days of in-person classes” due to exceptional circumstances are required to “submit their request for continuation or adoption of the blended learning modality.”

Duterte, on the other hand, noted that schools can “continue to implement the blended learning modality during the pendency of the request.”

Public schools were also allowed to continue the implementation of full distance learning “for a period of time” due to emergencies, calamities, and disasters but will be considered “blended learning.”

DepED said that the approving authority for the implementation of blended learning modality in select public elementary and secondary schools beyond Nov. 2 is the schools division superintendent (SDS) “whose decision shall be subject” to the regional director (RD).

Duterte said that the DO No. 34 s. of 2022 or the School Calendar for School Year (SY) 2022 -2023 “directs schools to maintain full operational capacity and accommodate 100 percent of their learner population” in five days of in-person classes.

“However, some public elementary and secondary schools may be temporarily unable to comply with the requirement of five days of in-person classes due to circumstances beyond their control,” DepED said.

These exceptional circumstances may include delays in the repair or construction of school facilities due to calamities and the immediate need for relocation of the school due to a determination and certification by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or any other appropriate government agency that such school site is unsafe for occupancy and use by the learners.

Some schools, DepED said, also have a shortage of basic education inputs and resources while others are under an “unfavorable peace and order situation” in the area where the school is located.

DepED noted that some schools may unable to implement full face-to-face classes because the classrooms are being used as temporary evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, DepED stressed that “exceptional circumstances do not mean to include suspension of classes due to extra-curricular activities or the use of classrooms as billeting areas for events.”

DepED, however, reminded the schools that will be allowed to conduct blended learning beyond Nov. 2 should “immediately implement” five days of in-person classes once their “exceptional circumstances” have been resolved.

As per DepEd’s latest data, 53 out of 827 public schools in the National Capital Region (NCR) were allowed to continue with blended learning.

Meanwhile, 94 percent or 774 schools in Metro Manila implement the mandated five-day face-to-face classes starting Nov. 2.

DepED said that it is currently consolidating data on the resumption of full face-to-face classes coming from various regions nationwide.

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Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/11/03/deped-allows-public-schools-with-exceptional-circumstances-to-continue-with-blended-learning/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=deped-allows-public-schools-with-exceptional-circumstances-to-continue-with-blended-learning)