The Department of Education (DepEd) has released updated class suspension guidelines, in line with the possibility that the incoming school year 2021-2022 will still be conducted remotely. Education Secretary Leonor Briones made the announcement through DepEd Order #14 series of 2021.

It can be recalled that throughout school year 2020-2021, there had been consistent confusion among local government leaders on whether the old class suspension guidelines can still be applied during the “new normal” set-up.

SIGNAL #1:

When signal number 1 is raised over a particular area, DepEd reiterated that classes in public and private kindergarten classes shall be automaticall suspended regardless of the learning delivery modality.

For their part, teachers who are exclusively handling cancelled or suspended classes are not required to report to work regardless of working arrangement adopted by the school. Meanwhile, non-teaching school personnel including principals and department heads will be required to report for work under “applicable working arrangements.”

SIGNAL #2:

When signal number 2 is raised over particular areas, DepEd explained that classes in the kindergarten, elementary, as well as junior and senior high school levels will be suspended regardless of the learning delivery modality.

For their part, teachers who are exclusively handling cancelled or suspended classes are not required to report to work regardless of working arrangement adopted by the school. Meanwhile, non-teaching school personnel including principals and department heads will be required to report for work under “applicable working arrangements.”

DepEd class suspension guidelines
The Department of Education has reiterated that the previous class suspension guidelines should still be observed during the “new normal” set-up

SIGNAL #3:

When signal number 3 is raised over particular areas, DepEd explained that classes in all levels – from pre-school to college – will be suspended regardless of the learning delivery modality. The memorandum also added that work in all DepEd offices are suspended regardless of the work arrangement.

“Central, Regional, Schools Division Office, and teaching and/or non-teaching school personnel who are members of DRRM Teams shall continue to render the necessary services,” it explained.

For their part, teachers who are exclusively handling cancelled or suspended classes are not required to report to work regardless of working arrangement adopted by the school. Meanwhile, non-teaching school personnel including principals and department heads will be required to report for work under “applicable working arrangements.”

Localized class suspensions

The aforementioned DepEd order also recognized the power of local chief executives to suspend classes due to natural and human-induced calamities. This happens frequently when monsoon season comes. According to DepEd, even if only classes are suspended, non-teaching and teaching school personnel, including ALS teachers, solely handling cancelled or suspended classes are not required to report to their work, regardless of working arrangement adopted by the school.

In all instances, private schools are given the discretion to determine whether their teaching and non-teaching personnel will be required to report for work.

COMMENTARY: Even if we are adopting a remote learning system for the foreseeable future, it is still prudent for local government executives to announce class suspensions in a timely manner. We may not be doing face-to-face classes, but we know that rainy weather slows down Internet connection and might even cause power interruptions and this situation can hamper online classes.

 

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