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Private schools appreciate DepEd’s various educational alternatives.

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The Department of Education (DepEd) was congratulated on Tuesday by the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA) for giving private schools more flexible alternatives and taking into account difficult issues in the full transition to in-person instruction.

COCOPEA Managing Director Joseph Noel Estrada said this demonstrates the “continuous relationship” between the public and private sectors.

The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA) expressed its appreciation for and praised the Department of Education’s decision to continue offering blended and distance learning modes at private schools after October 31, 2022.

Private schools are given various options under DepEd Order 44, including “five-day in-person classes; blended learning modality; and full remote learning.”

Estrada said that this system would benefit students as a supplement to traditional classroom instruction.

By doing this, he continued, “students and learning institutions may optimize and utilize the advantages and innovations of these flexible learning modes.

The COCOPEA committed to working closely with the DepEd in light of this.

According to Estrada, “COCOPEA will continue to cooperate with the Department as a steadfast partner and assist the Department in resolving the numerous requirements in our education sector.”

Applications for exemption

In the meantime, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Philippines urged the DepEd to provide the number of schools asking for an exemption for five days of in-person classes beginning November 2.

The ACT asserted that it did not want the entire implementation of required in-person instruction to fail but that pressing issues in schools must be resolved first.

According to reports, several schools, particularly those in the National Capital Region and other urban regions, are requesting an exemption from the 5-day face-to-face course requirement because they lack the necessary resources (facilities and staff) to make it work. The government’s inability to solve our difficulties has us headed in that direction, even while we do not want the push for 100% face-to-face classes to fail,” it wrote in a Facebook post.

By DO 44, all public schools in the country must implement the complete five-day in-person courses, with a few exceptions.

The DO stated, “Except for those expressly offered an exemption by the Regional Director, those whose classes are automatically canceled due to disaster and calamities, no public school shall be authorized to use exclusively distant learning or blended learning.”

The DepEd previously stated that while school facilities are being rebuilt and temporary learning spaces are being established, schools in disaster-affected areas are presently optimizing alternative forms of delivery for their lessons.

The number of schools asking for exemptions has not been made public by the education department. Still, it has remained steadfast in its belief that encouraging in-person instruction will be wholly advantageous for students.

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