MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Public school students can attend online classes without wearing their uniform while face-to-face classes remain banned due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Tuesday.
DepEd Undersecretary Anne Sevilla issued the clarification following a report that DepEd was urging students to wear their uniforms or appropriate clothing during online classes to prevent incidents of bullying.
"Wearing of uniforms is not a requirement for public school learners to do distance learning," Sevilla told ABS-CBN News, quoting Education Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instructions Diosdado San Antonio.
Even before the pandemic, wearing uniforms was not mandated in public schools to prevent additional clothing costs for students' families, according to a DepEd order in 2010.
"With face-to-face classes prohibited, learners are welcome to wear their most comfortable and appropriate clothes while learning at the safe confines of their homes," DepEd said in a statement.
Classes are set to open on Aug. 24, with the DepEd offering several options for distance learning, including the use of printed and digital modules, online classes, television, and radio.
Some teachers still lack gadgets for distance learning and have called for the opening of classes to be delayed.