February 24, 2021 – Existing laws expressly provide power to the President to make final decisions on education policies. Thus, the Department of Education (DepEd) will adhere to the decision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on extending the postponement of pilot face-to-face classes implementation.
We understand that the availability and roll out of vaccines in the country are critical factors for this undertaking. In the meantime, we shall continue preparing action plans for this activity should the President give his approval in the coming months.
We have previously laid out our stringent conditions to our field offices, which include the following:
- Pilot implementation of face-to-face classes will take place only in areas categorized as low-risk (at least under Modified General Community Quarantine or MGCQ).
- There must be a commitment for shared responsibility of DepEd, the local government unit (LGU), the parents or guardians and the providers of transportation.
- Stringent health and safety standards shall be followed at home, during travel to and from the schools, and within school premises.
So far, 1,904 public schools nationwide have already been identified as possible participants for the pilot study of limited physical classes.
We shall continue to coordinate with national and local authorities and health experts, parents, teachers and service providers.
We have also started consulting our various stakeholders to address challenges in the distance learning set-up but most importantly, we have been in constant dialogue with our student-leaders and learners to formulate informed strategies and policy direction that will best serve their interest in these trying times.