DepEd staggers fourth quarter examinations amid COVID-19 threat

DepEd staggers fourth quarter examinations amid COVID-19 threat
Personnel from the Marikina City sanitation office disinfects a classroom at Sta. Elena High School following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the city on March 9.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — Fourth quarter examinations for school year 2019-2020 will be staggered as the Department of Education (DepEd) implement measures to minimize possible exposure to confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

DepEd, in a statement issued Tuesday night, noted that fourth quarter examinations for Grades 6 and 12 are set on March 12 to 13.

President Rodrigo Duterte suspended classes in the National Capital Region from March 10 to 14, upon recommendation from Department of Health experts, amid rising threat of COVID-19 in the country.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that the department is directing schools in the National Capital Region to “schedule all remaining Fourth Quarter Examinations in the week of March 16 to 20 on a staggered basis.”

This is also to reduce the number of students going to school per day. Students will go to their schools only on their respective examination schedules.

“After Fourth Quarter Examinations have been taken, any further school requirements shall as far as practicable be done as home-based assignments,” Briones said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday directed the Philippine National Police and local government units to keep students away from crowded, public places such as malls and movie houses.

Students seen in such crowded places will be asked to go home, following Duterte’s directives.

FOLLOW: LIVE updates: Novel coronavirus in the Philippines

Moving up, graduation rites

DepEd also left the discretion of scheduling graduation and moving up rites to the between April 13-17 to each schools.

The ceremonies should be done in line with “applicable guidelines by the DOH, and to conduct the same consistence with DOH guidelines of mass gatherings.”

Should there be public health situation prevent schools from holding the ceremonies on the said week, “ the schools, in consultation with the [Parent-Teacher Association] leadership, may choose to reschedule or forego the holding of graduation and moving up rites.”

Briones stressed that the “social distancing measures for schools” will only be effective with the cooperation of students, teachers and local governments.

She added that the Education department will continue to monitor the public health situation and help in containing and managing COVID-19. — Kristine Joy Patag

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