MANILA — The Department of Education has adjusted the dates of the grading periods for this school year as part of its efforts to ease the stress felt by students and teachers with the implementation of distance learning.
In a memorandum dated Oct. 30, Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said the department has been "closely monitoring the delivery of basic education services in the public schools since the start of classes on October 5."
"Because of some key challenges noted, there is a need to recalibrate the strategy of assigning teaching responsibilities of teachers and learning activities to the learners with the assistance of their parents," said San Antonio.
Among the measures was the extension of the first quarter until December 12, according to the memorandum. The first quarter was originally scheduled to end on November 28.
The second quarter was also moved to Jan. 4, 2021 to Feb. 27, 2021; third quarter from March 1, 2021 to April 24, 2021; and fourth quarter from April 26, 2021 to June 11, 2021.
Meanwhile, the week before Christmas break, which starts on December 19, will be devoted to "in-service training."
According to the memorandum, schools may also declare activities in self-learning modules (SLMs) or learning activity sheets as optional so learners can "focus only on the most essential activities."
The time allotted for learners to complete or submit their activities may also be reconsidered, based on the memorandum.
San Antonio also said learning tasks in the SLMs or other learning materials may be streamlined in the succeeding quarters.
The undersecretary also told schools that teachers should not be burdened on printing and distribution of modules.
Learners, and parents and guardians having difficulties can be supported by learning support aides, according to the memorandum.
Schools can tap local government units, civil society groups, and private organizations and individuals for support, such as for materials and equipment, in addressing the challenges of distance learning, said San Antonio.
San Antonio added that DepEd field units and public schools are authorized to implement other measures to reduce the stress experienced by teachers and learners.
In-person classes remain banned as the country continued to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, prompting schools to shift to a distance learning approach.
Under distance learning, students learn through printed and digital modules, online classes, and education programs aired over television and radio.