May 25, 2011 DO 41, s. 2011 – General Guidelines on the Opening of Classes

May 25, 2011
DO 41, s. 2011
General Guidelines on the Opening of Classes

To: Undersecretaries
Assistant Secretaries
Bureau Directors
Directors of Services, Centers, and Heads of Units
Regional Directors
Schools Division/City Superintendents
Heads, Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
All Others Concerned

  1. Pursuant to the Constitutional mandate to provide all Filipino learners with free basic education in public elementary and secondary schools, and to achieve the country’s targets for the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on universal primary education and this Department’s objective of Education for All (EFA) in 2015, there is an urgent need to minimize, if not to eliminate, financial constraints among parents/guardians during the opening of classes, and to implement effective school/classroom management.
  2. Accordingly, the implementing policies on the collection of voluntary school contributions (VSCs) shall be strictly observed.
    1. No fees shall be collected from schoolchildren in Kindergarten up to Grade 4 anytime during the School Year (SY) 2011-2012.
    2. No fees shall be collected from Grade 5 pupils to Fourth Year high school students from June to July 2011. However, starting August 2011 until the end of this SY, the contributions shown in the table below may be collected only on a voluntary basis.
    3. The Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) may collect contributions starting August only after presenting to their members and to the school head/principal a Report on the Utilization of the Previous School Year’s Collections and the SY 2011-2012 Proposed Budget with Program of Activities taking into account the following:
      i. The amount of contributions to the PTA shall be agreed upon during the General Assembly pursuant to DepEd Order No. 54, s. 2009; and shall be concurred to by the school head/principal. (The concurrence of the school head/principal on the amount of voluntary school contributions shall not be interpreted as those collections being mandatory payments.)
      ii. The PTAs are enjoined to refrain from setting exorbitant amounts for voluntary school contributions. In consideration of the many expenses that parents incur in sending their children to school, the PTAs are encouraged to minimize the amount of contributions for graduation ceremonies and extra-curricular activities as well as minimize requests for in-kind contributions.
      iii The contributions to the PTA shall be on a per member basis, regardless of the number of children that the member has enrolled in the school; and
      iv. The PTAs are encouraged to open and maintain a bank account to manage its collections and budget as much as possible.
    4. The publication of a school newspaper, although not mandatory, is strongly encouraged in line with the promotion of the campus journalism program at the elementary and secondary levels. The school publication fee shall be set at the school level. Every elementary pupil shall not pay more than Sixty Pesos (PhP60.00), and every high school student, Ninety Pesos (PhP90.00) per DepED Order No. 19, s. 2008.
    5. No teacher, school official nor school personnel shall collect fees or contributions, nor shall they be entrusted with the safekeeping and disbursement of collections made by the PTA pursuant to the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers (as provided for in Article XI of Republic Act No. 7836), teachers shall not act, directly or indirectly, as agent of, nor be financially interested in any commercial venture, of which they can exercise official influence. Hence, teachers, school officials and school personnel are prohibited from selling or requiring the purchase of locally- produced workbooks, instructional materials, test booklets, school supplies and other items.
    6. The membership fees for student/pupil organizations shall be set by the organization subject to existing school policies on student organizations.
    7. If the collection of school publication fees and other club memberships are coursed through the PTA as requested by the concerned
      organization, the amount collected shall immediately be remitted to the school or organization on the day of collection. No service fee should be charged to the school or pupil/student organization by the PTA.
    8. It is stressed that in no case shall non-payment of voluntary school contributions be made as a basis for non-admission, non-¬promotion or non-issuance of clearance to a student by the school concerned.
    9. Non-compliance of the provisions on the Collection of Voluntary School Contributions shall be a ground for cancellation of the PTA’s recognition and/or filing of appropriate charges as the case may be.
  3. The implementing policies on the enrolment to be strictly observed are as follows:
    1. During the opening of classes, the school heads/principals shall ensure that Grade 1 pupils and First Year high school students who registered on January 29, 2011 are in school. In cases when there are no schools in the area, the mobile learning facilitator of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) shall provide educational services to these learners;
    2. Grade 1 pupils should be six (6) years old by June and not later than October 2011. The certification of birth from the local registrar shall be the documentary basis for enrolment and should be submitted on or before December 2011;
    3. Children who are younger than six (6) years old by six (6) months may be admitted to Grade 1 provided that their readiness for school has been assessed (with positive results) by the school where they are applying for admission through the School Readiness Assessment Tool in relation to DepED Order No. 25, s. 2007.
    4. All Grade 1 pupils and First Year high school students who did not register on January 29, 2011 need to enrol before or during the opening of classes;
    5. Those pupils or students who are promoted to the next grade or year level are considered automatically enrolled for the coming school year in the same school;
    6. Those pupils or students who wish to transfer to a public school from another public school or from a private school shall bring their Form 138 (Report Card) to the school where they intend to transfer. If this document is not available, the child can be admitted on the condition that the Report Card shall be submitted not later than the end of the First Grading Period;
    7. The class size should range from a minimum of 15 pupils/students to a maximum of 60 pupils/students per class. Classes from Grades 1 to 4 should not exceed 40 pupils per class in order to keep the teaching¬-learning process more manageable during these foundation years of schooling whenever possible.
    8. The specific provision of DepEd Order No. 32, s. 2003 which gives priority preference for admission to new entrants who are residents of the locality where the school is located subject to the average and maximum class size stated in Item 3.g, is retained;
    9. In schools where there are oversized classes, school heads/principals shall utilize alternative delivery modes such as the modified in-school, off-school approach, e-impact, DORP (Drop-Out Reduction Program) print modules, e-modules computer-assisted instruction (CAI) among others;
    10. The most competent and/or the most experienced teachers shall be assigned to run the alternative delivery modes; and
    11. The provision on the Adoption of Double Shift Policy to address classroom shortages, as provided for in DepED Order No. 62, s. 2004, subject to the above cited average and maximum class size, shall be maintained.
  4. The implementing guidelines on the wearing of student uniform and identification (ID) cards are the following:
    1. The wearing of a school uniform shall not be required in public schools. Students with existing uniforms may continue using these uniforms, if they so desire, in order to avoid incurring additional costs for new attire; and
    2. ID cards shall be provided to students at no cost on their part. The school head/principal shall fund these ID cards from its Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).
  5. The policies on the distribution of instructional materials such as textbooks and other learning resources are as follows:
    1. The school head/principal shall ensure that textbooks and learning packages available in the schools shall be distributed to all the pupils or students. Reading materials in the library hubs shall be maximized for instruction; and
    2. Teachers in schools with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and materials shall utilize these for multiple delivery formats such as large group workshops, small group discussions, and individualized instruction to develop self-directed learning.
  6. The release of MOOE in cash advance to schools shall be guided by this policy: schools division/city superintendents (SDSs) are directed to release MOOE funds to schools without fiscal autonomy in the form of cash advance and in adequate amounts proportional to the enrolment size to ensure that the operating funds are available at the start of the school year.
  7. The guidelines on the monitoring of the implementation of this DepEd Order are as follows:
    1. The schools division/city superintendents (SDSs) and the school heads are directed to implement this Order. The regional director (RD) shall monitor the implementation of these policies; and
    2. Every school head must submit to the respective Division Office (DO) a letter of compliance together with the School Monitoring Report on or before July 29, 2011. In turn, every schools division/city superintendent (SDS) is required to submit the Division Consolidated Report on Compliance and Non-compliance of their Schools to this Order to the Undersecretary for Regional Operations on or before August 15, 2011, copy furnished the RD.
  8. Any violation of this Order by any teacher, school official or school personnel shall be dealt with administratively, pursuant to DepED Order No. 49, s. 2006, otherwise known as the “Revised Rules of Procedure of the Department of Education in Administrative Cases.
  9. All previous issuances which are inconsistent with the provisions of this DepEd Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
  10. These guidelines shall remain in force and in effect during the succeeding school years until revised or repealed.
  11. Immediate dissemination of and compliance with this Order is directed.

DECS Order: No. 31. s. 2001 DepEd Order: No. 32, s. 2003
DepED Order: Nos. 62, s. 2004; 49, s. 2006; 25 and 49, s. 2007;
19, s. 2008; 40, 48, 54 and 77, s. 2009
DepEd Order: No. 65, s. 2010
DepED Memorandum: Nos. 235 and 513, s. 2009

To be indicated in the Perpetual Index under the following subjects: