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Local DepEd officials allowed to suspend classes amid COVID-19 surge

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Local DepEd officials allowed to suspend classes amid COVID-19 surge
Face-to-face classes at St. Mary Elementary School in Marikina City on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 have been suspended after authorities raised the pandemic warning to Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila due to rising COVID-19 cases.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — Local education officials can suspend classes and other teaching-related activities as COVID-19 cases soar, the Department of Education said.

In a memorandum released Thursday, the DepEd allowed its regional offices and school division offices to suspend classes in January “based on their reliable assessment of the health status of their teachers and learners and the IATF risk classification.”

The period of class suspension should not exceed two weeks to avoid prolonged disruption in the current school calendar.

“During the suspension of classes, all synchronous and asynchronous classes shall be put on hold while submission of academic requirements and conduct of other teaching-related activities must be moved to a later date. For late submission of requirements, accommodations must be afforded for those with valid reason,” the memorandum read.

DepEd said that private schools, in consultation with their respective parents’ associations, may exercise their own discretion to suspend classes and K to 12 learning activities when COVID-19 risks in their areas are high.

In a statement, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers said the department’s move is a recognition of their call for a two-week “health break.”

“However, considering the urgency for a health break declaration and the yet-to-peak Omicron surge, DepEd’s Central Office must make the decision themselves and avoid further delays,” ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said.

The Philippines has registered more than three million COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic. Of the total, 208,164 are active cases. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

COVID-19 PANDEMIC DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OMICRON VARIANT
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