DepEd: Schools to open Aug. 22 in 5-day in-person classes

Seeks probe of sexual abuse allegations at PHSA


| Photo via Department of Education (DepEd)

MANILA – Following its commitment to the resumption of a 5-day in-person class, the Department of Education (DepEd) has released the guidelines on the School Calendar and Activities for School Year 2022-2023.

Classes will start on Aug. 22 and end on Jul. 7, 2023. There will be 203 school days or as may be determined by further issuance/s in case of changes in the school calendar due to unforeseen circumstances.

According to DepEd Order 034, there will be no inspections, tools, or any additional requirements to re-open schools, and implementing five (5) days of in-person classes will be required, except for the compliance with the usual pre-pandemic regulatory permits and licenses, as required by law or ordinances.

DepEd only prescribed the option of 5 days person in-person classes, blended learning modality, and full distance learning until Oct. 31, 2022.

According to DepEd, starting Nov. 2, 2022, all public and private schools shall have transitioned to 5 days of in-person classes. No school shall be allowed to implement purely distance learning or blended learning except for those implementing Alternative Delivery Modes as provided in DO 21, s. 2019 (Policy Guidelines on the K to 12 Basic Education Program) and DO 01, s. 2022 (Revised Policy Guidelines on Homeschooling Program).

Meanwhile, the learning intervention for Alternative Learning System (ALS) will officially start on the opening date. At the same time, the program duration will depend on the learner’s educational background or existing knowledge level before enrolment in the ALS program.

Concerning the school opening, the implementing guidelines on the School Calendar and Activities for SY 2022-2023 will apply to public and private elementary and secondary schools, including Community Learning Centers (CLCs) nationwide. Private schools, state/local universities, and colleges may implement the calendar. They may also start classes not earlier than the first Monday of June and not later than the last day of August.

Enrollment will be held from Jul. 25 to Aug. 22, and Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela will be conducted from Aug. 1 to 26 and on Aug. 15, respectively.

Furthermore, the Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP) 2030, Learning Recovery and Continuity Plan (LRCP), and Classroom-based and System Assessments will guide schools in effectively delivering the K to 12 Basic Education Program amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In another development, DepEd has sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the reports of emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse allegations in the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) in Los Baños, Laguna.

Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte has requested the investigation body to provide a comprehensive report on the issue as soon as possible.

Likewise, the DepEd has also tapped its Child Protection Unit (CPU) and Child Rights in Education Desk (CREDe) to conduct a similar investigation about the agency’s Child Protection Policy. PHSA has also informed DepEd that they are examining the current and prior information on the matter.

DepEd said that concerns and complaints concerning abuses in PHSA should be submitted to the school’s Committee on Decorum and Investigation for proper and further action. DepEd and PHSA are currently reviewing the school’s existing policies and strengthening its internal mechanisms to ensure the safety of students inside the premises of the institution.

It reiterated that the agency does not tolerate abuses in any form and that DepEd will continuously promote a healthy and safe environment for its learners and teachers.

–With Ricky Rillera/PDM

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