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DepEd rejects calls for nationwide ‘academic health break’


The Department of Education (DepEd) said Wednesday that it cannot declare a nationwide “academic break” amid the increasing number of students and teachers with flu-like symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19.

A DepEd official responded to a group of teachers calling on the government Tuesday to declare a two-week “health break” in schools under Alert Level 3. 

According to a survey, around 7,448 (55.1%) public school teachers in the National Capital Region (NCR) are sick.

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 agency 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,” he said.

(School principals and superintendents must have an appropriate action for the COVID-19 in every area.)

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

In consideration of the students’ situation, especially in public schools, San Antonio said schools can implement an “academic ease” policy, where the latter can adjust school requirement submission deadlines or certain learning module activities may be considered optional.

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

Earlier this week, several higher education institutions and private schools have already suspended their classes for two weeks due to most of their students and teachers are exhibiting flu-like symptoms. – WhatALife.ph

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