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DepEd, Marikina declare ‘health break’

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The Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Friday the suspension of classes in all public schools in the National Capital Region (NCR) from 15 to 22 January to ease the health burden caused by the surge in Covid-19 cases.

Classes will resume on 24 to 29 this month on purely asynchronous distance learning modalities, DepEd said in its memorandum that cited the need to ensure the physical and mental well-being of teachers and students.

“For the duration of the suspension of classes, it is that the physical reporting of teachers will be not required by the school heads,” the memorandum read.

DepEd added students will use the mid-year break from 31 January to 5 February to cover backlogs in learning outputs. The second quarter examinations are scheduled for 7 to 8 February.

Meanwhile, the submission of learning outputs by students has been scheduled from 7 to 12 February using online platforms and other mechanisms, sans in-person contact or interface.

“The lost contact days shall be compensated by mechanisms such as independent study, remediation, enhancement activities and other related teacher-learning interactions,” the memorandum read.

In a separate memorandum issued on Thursday, the DepEd also urged its regional and schools division offices to exercise discretion in suspending classes and other teaching-related activities amid the surge of Covid-19 cases.

Private schools may exercise their own discretion relative to the suspension of classes and K to 12 learning activities when Covid-19 risks in their respective areas are high.

Meanwhile, Marikina City followed the example of Manila as Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro on Friday declared a “health break” for students and teachers at all levels in both public and private schools in the city from 17 to 29 January.

In a statement, Teodoro said it is better to declare a two-week academic health break in the city as more children, teachers and their relatives were infected by Covid-19.

Teodoro added that his declaration of an academic health break was in accordance with the provision of Section 16 or the General Welfare Clause of the Local Government Code.

“Due to this public health emergency, it is good to give every Marikina family the opportunity to focus on their recovery, to take a rest, to undergo quarantine and attend to their needs during these times,” Teodoro said.

In Manila, the University of the East came out with a statement on Friday expressing compliance with an order of Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso declaring a health break at all levels of schools, private and public, up to 21 January.

Domagoso on Thursday issued UE a show-cause order over its earlier statement that its college classes will continue despite the mayor’s order.

As of press time, the Manila mayor, who oversaw until dawn the drive-through vaccination in the city, has not withdrawn his show-cause order against UE

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