The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday said private schools may continue holding classes using blended learning, but public schools should have transitioned to five days of face-to-face classes per week starting Nov. 2.

Private schools may opt to conduct three days of in-person classes and two days of distance learning (modular, online, or television/radio-based instruction) and then later shift to four days of in-person classes and one day of distance learning, the DepEd said.

The DepEd issued the directive for public schools in July, when it released the calendar for school year 2022 to 2023.

“All public schools across the country will be mandated to implement five days of in-person classes starting Nov. 2, 2022,” the DepED said in a statement.

“After Nov. 2, no public school shall be allowed to implement pure distance or blended learning except for those allowed by the regional director, those whose classes are canceled due to disasters, and those implementing alternative delivery modes,” the DepEd added.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) – Philippines has raised concerns over the DepEd’s directive, noting the nationwide classroom-deficiency problem.

“How else can they expand face-to-face classes from the recent three times a week now to five days a week by November when classroom and personnel shortages were not seriously addressed?” the ACT said in a statement.

“The return to 100-percent face-to-face classes is urgent and necessary but it cannot be done simply with a written order,” it added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro