DepEd can’t declare nationwide ‘academic break’: exec

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

January 12, 2022, 7:39 pm

<p><em>(PNA File Photo)</em></p>

(PNA File Photo)

MANILA – A Department of Education (DepEd) official on Wednesday said the agency cannot announce a nationwide "academic break" despite the increase in the number of learners and teachers with flu-like symptoms or testing positive for Covid-19.

This, after a group of teachers on Tuesday called on the government to declare a two-week "health break" in schools under Alert Level 3 like the National Capital Region where 55.1 percent of 7,448 public school teachers are sick according to a survey.

In an online media forum, DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio noted the Covid-19 situation is different in every part of the country so the DepEd cannot declare a nationwide “academic break”.

"Kung ano iyong sitwasyon sa Covid-19 ay dapat may angkop na aksiyon ang ating mga principal, mga school superintendent (school principals and superintendents must have an appropriate action for the Covid-19 in every area)," he said.

He added that the advice of the Department of Health is needed when declaring an “academic break” due to health concerns.

In consideration of the learners’ situation especially in public schools, San Antonio said schools can implement an "academic ease" policy where requirements could be submitted later or certain learning module activities may be considered optional.

Public schools that would opt to take a break should adjust to meet the number of school days for the academic year.

Some higher education institutions and private schools have suspended their classes for two weeks starting January 10 onwards as most of their students and teachers experience flu-like symptoms. (PNA)