Amid its five-day in-person classes mandate for all public schools nationwide, the Department of Education (DepEd) has allowed public schools with "exceptional circumstances" to proceed with blended learning.
Under DepEd Order No. 50 series of 2022, dated Nov. 3 and signed by Vice President and Education Sec. Sara Duterte, public schools that are unable to comply with the mandated five-day in-person classes "due to exceptional circumstances" must submit their request for continuation of blended learning beyond Nov. 2.
"Nonetheless, schools can continue to implement t1e blended learning modality during the pendency of the request," the order read.
"The approving authority for the implementation of blended learning modality in select public elementary and secondary schools beyond Nov. 2, 2O22 shall be the schools division superintendent (SDS), whose decision shall be subject to review by the regional director (RD)," it added.
Circumstances for the continuation of blended learning include delay in the construction of school facilities, immediate need for relocation of school, shortage of basic education resources, "unfavorable" peace and order situation, and use of classroom as temporary evacuation center.
DepEd earlier said at least 261 schools sustained damage from Tropical Storm Paeng.
"Upon the resolution of the exceptional circumstances... such public elementary or secondary schools that are allowed to conduct blended learning modalities pursuant to DO 44, s. of 2022 shall immediately implement the five days of in-person classes," according to the order.
"For monitoring purposes, all SDSs are directed to submit regular monthly reports to their RDs on the implementation of the five days in-person classes and the list of schools approved for the continuation or adoption of tie blended learning modalities," it added.
In an interview at the sidelines of the 32nd Library and Information Services Month (LISM) Opening Ceremonies at the National Library of the Philippines in Manila on Friday, Duterte said the order will serve as a guide for schools on the teaching and learning modality that is best fit for them.
"(5 mins) Naglabas kami ng amendatory department order para sa request ng ating mga public schools to implement blended learning para ma-guide iyong ating mga eskwelahan kung ano iyong gagawin nila. Pero nagtutuloy-tuloy iyon kung nag-blended learning sila noon because of exceptional circumstances kahit pa man pending iyong kanilang request for extension," she explained.