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MANILA, Philippines – Philippine private schools can continue blended and distance learning after November 2, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced.
DepEd Order No. 44, signed by education secretary and Vice President Sara Duterte, was published on the department’s website on Monday, October 17.
The new order amends previous DepEd Order No. 34, which was issued last July, ordering both private and public schools to resume full face-to-face classes nationwide by November 2.
Duterte’s new order allows private schools to implement three days of in-person classes and two days of distance learning for the blended modality. (READ: DepEd: All schools should shift to face-to-face classes on November 2)
According to the amended order, private schools can have in-person classes Monday to Wednesday, and remote classes on Thursday and Friday; or have four days of in-person classes Monday to Thursday and remote classes on Fridays.
They may also continue to do full distance learning.
Public schools, on the other hand, have to transition to five days a week of face-to-face classes by November 2.
“After the said date, no public school shall be allowed to implement purely distance learning or blended learning, except for those that are expressly provided an exemption by the regional director, those whose classes are automatically canceled due to disaster and calamities, and those implementing alternative delivery modes,” the order said.
Duterte previously said the return of face-to-face classes, which resumed last August, was a “major achievement” of her first 100 days in office, after nearly two years of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DepEd said in a statement on Facebook on Monday afternoon that it “maintains its confidence in the benefits of holding in-person classes to promote academic development and the overall mental health and well-being of our learners,”
DepEd said it was “cognizant” of the private sector’s investment in online learning technology, the effort it put into creating blended learning modules, and the “unfortunate closure of small private schools because of losses.”
“DepEd will leave the discussion on the learning modality to be implemented by private education institutions to the schools, the parents/guardians, and the learners. DepEd, however, hopes that parents/guardians of private school learners would not miss the abundance of scientific studies available on the advantages of in-person classes over online learning,” they added. – Rappler.com