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Some Clarifications on the Policy Guidelines on Awards and Recognition for the K to 12 Basic Education Program (DepEd Order 36, s. 2016)




DepEd mandates schools that effective school year 2016-2017, DO 36, s. 2016 shall be implemented. All provisions of existing Orders and Memoranda which are inconsistent with DO 36, s. 2016 are repealed. The following table summarizes the amendments.

DO 15, s. 2016DO 74, s. 2012DO 36, s. 2016
Candidates for honors from Grades 1 to 12 shall be top ten learners whose General Average is 90 and above. The candidates for honors must not have a Final Grade or Final Rating lower than 85 and a grade lower than 80 in any quarter;Candidates for honors in Grades 1 to 10 shall be drawn from the top ten (10) pupils/students of the school who performed at the Advanced Level. They must not have a final grade lower than 85 (Proficient Level) and they should have no grade at Developing Level in any quarter.At the end of the school year, the Academic Excellence Award is given to learners from grades 1 to 12 who have attained a General Average of at least 90 and a passing Final Grade in all learning areas.

The General Average is reported as a whole number following DepEd Order No. 8, s. 2015. (e.g. a general average of 89.5 is reported as 90)

The range of General Average is 98-100 for With Highest Honors; 95-97 for With High Honors; and 90-94 for With Honors

There can be two or more recipients of any award. However, should there be no qualified learner, the awards shall not be given.
The General Average shall be computed up to three decimal places
To determine the top ten, learners shall be ranked using the 7-3 point scheme (7 points for academic performance and 3 points for co-curricular activities.
The titles for learners with honors including valedictorian, salutatorian, first honorable mention, and so forth, shall be used for grade 6 and grade 12 graduates but not for grade 10 completers. In case of a tie, candidates shall be declared in the same honor ranking.
Transferees shall be considered in the ranking provided they were enrolled not later than the second week of classes of the current school year.
All candidates for honors must be of good moral character and have not been subjected to any disciplinary action within the current school year.All learners, including transferees, who have met the standards, criteria, and guidelines set by this policy shall be recognized

Unlike before where the school announces the Top 10 students of the graduating class (the same goes for every grade level), this time only the names of honor students along with their designated HONORS according to their Final Average Grade is announced in the ceremonies. There will be no announcement of Top 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on anymore. Since students are no longer ranked according to their general average and DO 8, s. 2015 specified that the general average shall be reported as a whole number; there is no more reason to determine the decimal places of the general average. No student from the graduating batch will be named Valedictorian or Salutatorian. But just like before, students will be recognized if they excelled in any field/subject, i.e., Math, Science, English, etc.

The new policy for awards and recognition (DO 36, s. 2016) gives all the students the opportunity to excel and be appreciated for their efforts since recognition is no longer limited to the Top 10 students of each grade level. If they can reach the required final average grade, then they will receive a medal at the end of the school year.




This policy also eliminates stiff competition among students which sometimes strain the good relationship between them. Sometimes, even the parents of the students are not in good terms because of this. Some say that removing the competition also has negative effects, but it should be considered that the positive outweighs the negative.

Private schools and other Non-DepEd schools may promulgate their own policy guidelines on awards and recognition for the K to 12 Basic Education Program. However, their guidelines shall be consistent with the policies set forth in DO 36, s. 2016, and that it should be subject to the approval of the Regional Office. For Public Elementary and Secondary schools, DO 36, s. 2016 remains in force and in effect for the duration of the program, unless sooner repealed, amended, or rescinded. Again, all provision in existing Orders and Memoranda (DO 15, s. 2016; DO 74, s. 2012) which are inconsistent with DO 36, s. 2016 are rescinded.




The giving of awards and recognition, under DO 36, s. 2016, is but one of the many ways by which teachers and schools provide students with positive feedback and affirmation, which can improve the learner’s confidence, self-awareness, and enthusiasm for learning. This is for the reason that a motivating environment that promotes respect for student diversity and dedication to learning contributes to the creation of a positive school climate that supports the well-being and achievement of all students.

Learners who feel good about their abilities and contributions to the school and society are more likely to be happy, content, and motivated. When these learners are recognized for their efforts, they will also persist in their desire to excel.

Let us have a uniform implementation of DepEd Order 36, s. 2016.




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