DepEd: Teachers should avoid friendship with student outside school

DepEd: Teachers should avoid friendship with student outside school

The Department of Education issued a new department order that mandates its officials and employees to put limits in using social media and avoid “following social media with learners” unless they are relatives.

The Department Order No. 49 series of 2022 on the promotion of professionalism in the delivery of basic education programs and services stressed the provisions of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

The DO reminds its personnel to always adhere to “acceptable norms of conduct and relations in DepEd which includes relationships, interaction, and communication, including following social media with learners outside of school setting, except if they are relatives.”

“Ang pagiging magkaibigan dapat nasa loob lang ng classroom or school setting at hindi natin dinadala sa labas,” Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said.

“Dapat, as a teacher, meron talagang line between him or her and the learner. Dapat hindi sila magkaroon ng friendly relations with their learners outside of the learning institution setting dahil nagkakaroon ng bias iyong isang tao kapag nagiging kaibigan na niya. Of course, relationships, mayroong mga problema iyan,” Duterte added.

The said order is an amendment to DepEd Order No. 47 or the Promotion of Professionalism in the Implementation and Delivery of Basic Education Programs and Services.

Under DO 49, “DepEd officials and employees are expected to… refrain from engaging in any activity or any relationship that may impair one’s ability in making objective decisions in the performance of his/her job functions” and “avoid relationships, interaction, and communication, including following social media with learners outside of the school setting, except if they are relatives.”

Duterte mentioned incidents when DepEd personnel were involved in criminal activities or become victims of crime.

“And isa ito sa mga nakita namin din na mga incidents, recent incidents ‘no, ng mga teachers natin na lumalabas with their students and they’re involved in, should we say, criminal, not really criminal activities, but they are involved in crime. It’s either nagiging suspect sila or nagiging biktima sila,” she explained.

“In one case, we had a teacher having a drinking spree with a student na sinasak siya ng isang student. So these are instances na preventable kung nire-recognize ng ating teaching and non-teaching staff sa Department of Education na dapat merong linya doon,” she added.

Officials and employees are also told to refrain from engaging in any relationship or activity that may affect their ability to “making objective decisions” in their performance of duty.

They should also respect the rights of others and avoid any activity that is not in accordance with the “law, good morals, good customs, public policy, public order, public safety, and public interest,”

The new DO also underscores the reminder to never engage in any partisan activities, including “seeking endorsements, recommendations, contributions, support, consideration, political accommodation, or any form of intervention from other government personnel or similar entities outside DepEd.”

DepEd also prohibits “soliciting favorable actions from politicians” and “requesting or obtaining support or endorsement from any third party in the hiring, transfer, promotion, removal or any other personnel movement.”

DepEd orders immediate dissemination and strict compliance with the new order.