Teachers Not Required to Report to School When Classes Are Suspended

Teachers Not Required to Report to School When Classes Are Suspended

The Department of Education (DepEd) in Metro Manila is taking action to protect teachers and school staff during the intense heat caused by the El Niño weather pattern. The regional office, led by Director Jocelyn Andaya, has issued an important reminder to all public school leaders.

As of last Friday, according to Regional Memorandum No. 408, teachers are not required to physically report to schools when classes are canceled due to severe heat. This directive is particularly important for the safety and well-being of the staff. The only exceptions are for those employees whose roles are crucial in areas like security, finance, and health services.

This rule also covers “mobile teachers” who are part of the Alternative Learning System (ALS), a program designed to help those who are not in traditional schools, such as out-of-school youth and adults. These teachers, too, can stay home and do not need to come in unless specifically needed.

The guidelines outlined in this new memo align with the earlier DepEd Order No. 037 from 2022, which sets the protocol for suspending classes and work during natural disasters or emergencies like power outages.

Last year, DepEd also issued memoranda that required schools to implement certain steps to lessen the effects of extreme heat. These measures are now in focus again, ensuring schools switch to alternative ways of teaching, like online classes, whenever the weather makes it too risky for normal operations.

This recent memo was also a response to concerns raised by teacher groups about some schools in Metro Manila still requiring staff attendance despite the suspension of in-person classes. These groups, including the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition led by Benjo Basas, have advocated for clear national guidance on this issue, aiming to ensure that all teachers can stay safe during these challenging conditions.

As of the latest updates, a significant number of schools have already moved to these alternative teaching methods. Out of 47,678 public schools in the DepEd system, 7,188 have adopted alternative delivery modes, with 430 of these schools located in Metro Manila. Additionally, the heat index has hit dangerous levels, reaching up to 46 degrees Celsius in some areas, emphasizing the need for these protective measures.

Read: List of Schools with Classes Suspended Due to Extreme Heat

In conclusion, the DepEd is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its teachers and staff by allowing them to work remotely during extreme weather conditions. This approach helps maintain educational continuity while safeguarding the community.