DepEd no longer responsible for class suspension announcementsFriday, June 01, 2012 02:44 AM Views : 1962Dennis Carcamo
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Education said on Friday it will no longer be announcing class suspension, saying the responsibility now lies with the local government officials as they are in a better position to assess the situation.
The DepEd, however, said that automatic cancellation of classes during typhoons will still be based on the storm signal sent out by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
DepEd Order 43 has given guidance to the agency's regional, division and school officials on actions to take in times of calamities and adverse weather conditions. The order applies to both public and private schools.
Under the DepEd Order, the following guidelines still apply: When Signal No. 1 is raised by PAGASA, public and private pre-school and kindergarten classes in the affected areas are automatically suspended.
At Signal No. 2 the suspension will also include elementary and secondary classes. When Signal No. 3 is announced, classes in all levels and work in all DepEd offices are cancelled.
Depending on the signal announced between 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. the following day, classes in appropriate levels for the whole day are deemed automatically suspended.
In the absence of typhoon signals from PAGASA, localized suspension of classes in both public and private schools and work in government offices may be implemented by local chief executives in their capacity as chairpersons of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Also, based on the recent inter-agency Oplan Balik Eskwela Task Force meeting, PAGASA will include in its weather bulletin not only the storm signal but the reminder to suspend classes depending on the storm signal.
The order also stipulated that any decision to suspend classes must come from the local government units. A school head may only cancel or suspend classes in cases where urgent action is needed to prevent bodily harm or loss of lives.
Local DepEd and private school officials are directed to coordinate closely with LGUs in times of inclement weather.
LGU officials are expected to announce cancellation of classes not later than 4:30 am for whole day cancellation and 11:00 am for afternoon class suspension.