THE Department of Education (DepEd) released on Sept. 1 the new guidelines on class cancellation or suspension in the event of disaster and calamities for both in-person and online learning deliveries.
"This Order is being issued to provide guidance on the suspension of classes due to disasters or calamities to spare the pupils, students, teaching and non-teaching personnel in schools from unnecessary dangers to their lives and limb," according to DepEd Order 37, signed by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio.
For typhoons, in-person and online classes from Kindergarten to Senior High School are automatically cancelled in schools situated in local government units (LGUs) issued by Pagasa with Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals (TCWS) 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.
DepEd noted that if the TCWS was issued at a time when classes have already begun, schools should immediately suspend classes and work and send everyone home, but reminded that schools are also obligated to keep the students and school personnel safe if traveling home has become unsafe.
For heavy rainfall, in-person and online classes from Kindergarten to Senior High School are automatically cancelled in schools situated in LGUs issued with Yellow, Orange, and Red Rainfall Warning by Pagasa.Get the latest news
Schools shall suspend classes immediately if the warning was issued at a time when classes have already begun, but should be mindful of the safety of students and personnel if traveling home has become unsafe.
For flood, in-person and online classes from Kindergarten to Senior High School are automatically cancelled in schools in LGUs issued with a Flood Warning.
Similarly, classes should be immediately suspended if the warning was released when classes have already begun, and schools are reminded that they are obligated to keep the students and personnel safely in school if it has become unsafe to travel home.
The Education department emphasized that local chief executives shall decide on the cancellation or suspension of classes in areas where Pagasa has not released TCWS, RainFall Warning, or Flood Warning but is experiencing extreme weather conditions.
Meanwhile, in-person and online classes from Kindergarten to Senior High School are also automatically suspended in schools situated in LGUs where Phivolcs declared an earthquake with intensity 5 or above.
Local chief executives should decide on the cancellation or suspension in areas with earthquake intensity 4 and below.
"School Principals can cancel classes at any Intensity Scale if in their assessment, buildings and other structures are seen to be in danger of collapsing or are found to have major damage. The School Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Team Head should clear the return of students and personnel in buildings and other structures," DepEd noted.
To ensure that learning competencies and objectives are still met in the event of cancelled or suspended classes, distance learning or make up classes will be implemented.