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DepEd Revised Guidelines on Alternative Work Arrangements During the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

The Department of Education (DepEd) releases the Revised Guidelines on Alternative Work Arrangements in the Department of Education during the Period of State of National Emergency due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

To:

Undersecretaries
Assistant Secretaries
Minister, Basic, Higher and Technical Education, BARMM
Bureau and Service Directors
Regional Directors
Schools Division Superintendents
Public Elementary and Secondary School Heads
All Others Concerned

1. The Department of Education (DepEd) adopts the enclosed Revised Guidelines on Alternative Work Arrangements in the Department of Education during the Period of State of National Emergency due to COVID-19 Pandemic, submitted by the DepEd Task Force COVID-19. These guidelines take into consideration the current developments and the policies set forth by the Office of the President, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF), and the Civil Service Commission.

2. These guidelines provide for the work arrangements and support mechanisms for teaching and nonteaching personnel, including Job Order (JO) and Contract of Service (COS) personnel, and officials in all DepEd offices in all governance levels, public elementary and secondary schools, and community learning centers (CLCs) during the period of State of National Emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic.

3. The Department is ever ready to make informed, coordinated, and proportionate response, and continue to issue crucial policies in light of the pandemic. As one DepEd family, we will protect the health, safety, and well-being of all learners, teaching and nonteaching personnel, and support the overall effort of the Philippine government to prevent the further transmission of COVID-19, while ensuring that we continue the delivery of quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education for all Filipinos.

4. As such, Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries, the Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Bureau and Service Directors, Regional Directors, Schools Division Superintendents, Public Elementary and Secondary School Heads, and Heads of CLCs are directed to implement appropriate work arrangements based on the prevailing community quarantine classification in their areas of responsibility, as well as to facilitate the safe return of teaching and nonteaching personnel to workplaces and schools/CLCs.

5. All DepEd teaching and nonteaching personnel, on the other hand, are expected to make themselves available during the working hours and to maximize the time spent in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities. At the same time, they are expected to observe honesty, integrity, and professionalism in the conduct of their duties such that government time, money, and resources must be employed and used efficiently, honestly, and economically, to avoid wastage in public funds.

6. To avoid risks of exposure and to allow for the proper understanding and operationalization of alternative work arrangements and required health standards in offices, schools, and CLCs, the status quo on work arrangements for officials, teaching and nonteaching personnel in the entire DepEd nationwide is extended until June 30, 2020. All teachers in DepEd schools nationwide shall continue to work from home until June 30, 2020, except for those specifically authorized by the Regional Directors to form part of the skeleton workforce who will render work in school, subject to observance of COVID-19 health and safety precautions. Said period will provide sufficient time for heads of offices to supply operational details in the implementation of these guidelines, to prepare the workplaces and schools/CLCs for full compliance of the required health standards, and to orient the personnel on such standards and their work arrangements.

7. For more information, please contact the following:

DepEd Task Force COVID-19
Bureau of Learner Support Services-School Health Division (BLSS-SHD)
3rd Floor, Mabini Building
Department of Education Central Office
DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City
Telephone No.: (02) 8-632-9935
Email Address: medical.nursing@deped.gov.ph

Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development
4th Floor, Mabini Building
Department of Education Central Office
DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City
Telephone No. (02) 8-633-7237
Email Address: bhrod.od@deped.gov.ph.

8. This Order shall take effect immediately upon issuance and shall remain in force until the State of National Emergency has been lifted by the President of the Philippines.

9. Immediate dissemination of and strict compliance with this Order are directed.

LEONOR MAGTOLIS BRIONES
Secretary

REVISED GUIDELINES ON ALTERNATIVE WORK ARRANGEMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DURING THE PERIOD OF STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

1. These guidelines provide for the work arrangements in the Department of Education (DepEd) pursuant to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 10, s. 2020 (Revised Interim Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government During the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic) and Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines approved by the InterAgency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in its 37th meeting on 15 May 2020, as amended by IATF Resolution No. 38, s. 2020 dated May 22, 2020, and IATF Resolution No. 40, s. 2020 dated May 27, 2020, thereby updating DepEd Memorandum (DM) No. 043, s. 2020 (Guidelines on the Alternative Work Arrangements in the Department of Education in Light of the COVID-19 Stringent Social Distancing Measures), DM 052, s. 2020 (Advisory on Work Arrangements in the Department of Education in Light of Recent Developments in the COVID-19 Situation), and DM 054, s. 2020 (Reiteration of Advisory on Work Arrangements in the Department of Education in Light of Recent Developments in the COVID-19 Situation).

2. Transitioning from Executive Order (EO) No. 112, s. 2020, which imposed community quarantine measures nationwide, the Omnibus Guidelines as amended responds to recent developments by creating and sustaining the following measures:

a. Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) – refers to the implementation of temporary measures imposing stringent limitations on movement and transportation of people, strict regulations of operating industries, provision of food and essential services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

b. Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) – refers to the transition phase between ECQ and General Community Quarantine (GCQ), when the following temporary measures are relaxed and become less necessary: stringent limits on movement and transportation of people, strict regulation of operating industries, provision of food and essential services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

c. General Community Quarantine (GCQ) – refers to the implementation of temporary measures limiting movement and transportation, regulation of operating industries, and presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

d. Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) – refers to a transition phase between GCQ and New Normal, when the following temporary measures are relaxed and become less necessary: limiting movement and transportation, the regulation of operating industries, and the presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

e. Minimum Public Health Standards refers to guidelines set by Department of Health (DOH) in Administrative Order No. 2020-015, as well as sector-relevant guidelines issued by national government agencies, to aid all sectors in all settings to implement non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), which refer to public health measures that do not involve vaccines, medications or other pharmaceutical interventions, which individuals and communities can carry out in order to reduce transmission rates, contact rates, and the duration of infectiousness of individuals in the population to mitigate COVID-19. For this purpose, the Department of Tourism and Department of Public Works and Highways are recognized as the sector-national agencies with respect to tourism and construction, respectively. For basic education, it is DepEd, and its sectorrelevant guidelines will be issued as Required Health Standards in Schools and Offices.

f. Alternative Work Arrangements – refers to flexible work arrangements recommended by the Civil Service Commission for workers in the government during the period of state of National Emergency due to COVID-19 Pandemic. These include Work-From-Home, Skeleton Workforce, Four-day (compressed) Workweek, and Staggered Working Hours.

3. In its implementation of the measures, DepEd shall continue to be guided by the following framework:

a. Strict observance of pertinent public health measures, particularly the Guidelines on the Risk-Based Public Health Standards for COVID-19 Mitigation released as DOH Administrative Order No. 2020-0015, and the DepEd Order on DepEd Required Health Standards for Schools and Offices.

b. Continuity of delivery of DepEd essential services and priority programs, while observing the required health standards in work-related functions and responsibilities.

c. Consistency of the actions of each official, teaching and nonteaching personnel in the context of work and private activities, to ensure that public health objectives are achieved and not compromised by inconsistent actions and behaviors of individuals.

4. As such, Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries, the Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Bureau and Service Directors, Regional Directors, Schools Division Superintendents, Public Elementary and Secondary School Heads, and Heads of Community Learning Centers are directed to implement appropriate work arrangements based on the prevailing community quarantine classification (i.e., ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, MGCQ) in their areas of responsibility. These must uphold the required health standards, ensure the delivery of essential and priority services and deliverables, and be responsive to the contexts of the workforce.

5. All DepEd personnel1 meanwhile, particularly those working from home, are expected to make themselves available during the working hours and to maximize the time spent in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities. At the same time, they are expected to observe honesty, integrity, and professionalism in the conduct of their duties such that government time, monies, and resources must be employed and used efficiently, honestly, and economically, to avoid wastage in public funds.

Scope

6. The alternative work arrangements stipulated in this Memorandum covers all teaching and nonteaching personnel, including Job Order (JO) and Contract of Service (COS) personnel, in all DepEd offices in all governance levels, public elementary and secondary schools, and community learning centers (CLCs).

Continuity of DepEd Programs and Services for Offices, Schools, and Community Learning Centers

7. Heads of offices2 shall give priority to the delivery of and support to the following essential services:

a. Health and emergency frontline services;

b. Operationalization of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP);

c. School operations and activities stipulated in school calendar per DepEd Order (DO) No. 007, s. 2020;

d. Services that support the above mentioned and other general operations such as but not limited to:

i. Administrative and Security Services;

ii. Financial Services;

iii. Human Resource Management Services;

iv. Information, Communication, and Technology Services;

v. Planning Services;

vi. Legal Services;

vii. Public Assistance Services;

viii. Procurement Services;

ix. Staff assistance to Executive Decision-Making; and

x. Other critical services to be identified by the DepEd top management.

8. Notwithstanding the current emergency situation, DepEd offices and schools/CLCs shall still continue to perform their mandates and functions through appropriate and alternative strategies and platforms in order to accomplish the work needed.

a. Heads of offices and schools/CLCs heads shall determine the services that will constitute an appropriate operational capacity based on the following parameters:

i. Office mandates;

ii. Exigency of the service;

iii. Functions/processes/services that can only be rendered within office/school/CLC premises or in the field;

iv. Functions/processes/services that can be rendered through online platforms or other strategies; and

v. Other directives that may be assigned by the heads of offices in the Central Office (CO), Regional Office (RO), and/or Schools Division Office (SDO).

b. Heads of offices shall identify the resource requirements and appropriate alternative work arrangements applicable to their respective situations.

c. Heads of offices shall ensure the conducive and appropriate workplace conditions for the optimal productivity and safety of the personnel.

d. Heads of offices shall also ensure smooth transition of work operations and work arrangements in case of a change in community quarantine classification (e.g. GCQ to ECQ or vice-versa).

9. For schools/CLCs located in areas under ECQ or MECQ, school/CLC premises shall remain closed. For schools/CLCs located in areas under GCQ or MGCQ, school/CLC premises shall render limited services in accordance with the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) and IATF guidelines on movements and physical distancing.

10. For schools/CLCs under ECQ, MECQ, GCQ and MGCQ, face-to-face classes are suspended, but school/CLC personnel shall render services following the Alternative Work Arrangements in these guidelines before and after the opening of classes.

11. School/CLC Heads shall anchor these services based on the BE-LCP, School Calendar and Activities for SY 2020-2021, and Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction (CI) Memorandum dated May 06, 2020 (Clarification on the Use of the Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCs) and Other Related Issues).

a. Participation in orientation, training, and capacity building activities in managing multi-modal learning delivery options;

b. Preparation of instructional materials;

c. Planning the organization of classes in consideration of learning delivery modalities to be employed;

d. Assisting in orienting parents on effective facilitation of home-based learning;

e. Facilitation of enrollment of learners for SY 2020-2021;

f. Preparation of learners for the formal start of classes;

g. Gathering of data on the specific contexts of their learners (access to technological gadgets, capacity of learners for independent learning, etc.);

h. Participation in the Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela activities;

i. Completion of RPMS requirements of the SY 2019-2020 per DM No. 45, s. 2020, and further guidelines that may be issued;

j. Preparation for the initial activities of RPMS for SY 2020-2021 inclined to the teaching-learning modality activities required;

k. Other tasks that may be assigned in support of the BE-LCP and COVID-19 pandemic response; and

l. Other directives that may be assigned by the heads of offices in the CO, RO, and/or SDO.

12. Notwithstanding the list of services and tasks for school/CLC personnel mentioned above, functional bureaus, divisions, and offices at the Central, Regional and Schools Division levels shall provide the necessary support to the schools/CLCs, relative to their respective office mandates. The table presents the initial parameters/areas to ensure that schools/CLCs can effectively navigate through this situation.

Table 1. Initial Inventory of Essential Services and Processes at the School/CLC Level

ESSENTIAL SERVICES, PROCESSES, AND PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS/CLCSESSENTIAL SERVICES, PROCESSES, AND PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS/CLCS DURING EMERGENCIES
Parameters to ensure public service continuity:Parameters to ensure responsiveness to crisis and emergencies:
a. School/CLC Planning process (e.g. AIP preparation, adjustment, and reporting)a. Health and emergency response services (Oplan Kalusugan, Feeding Program, Dental Care, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) in School, etc.)
b. School/CLC reportorial processes (e.g. BEIS, LIS, Heath, Finance, School Forms, etc.)b. Flexible Learning Options (Online Education and Alternative Delivery Modes)
c. Financial reporting and transactions (e.g. disbursement, liquidation, etc.)c. Testing and contact tracing
d. Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwelad. Provision of hygiene and sanitary supplies
e. Those pertaining to School/CLC Security and Safetye. Transparency of processes and mechanisms
f. Inventory process and activities of School/CLC Plant, Properties and Equipment (PPE)f. School/CLC disinfection
g. All analogous services to those mentioned above that shall be determined by the school/CLC.g. Guidance, psychosocial, and mental health services for learners and school/CLC personnel (teaching and nonteaching)
h. Online child protection processes and mechanisms
i. All analogous services to those mentioned above that shall be determined by the school/CLC.

13. Adhering to the principles of School-Based Management (SBM) and Stakeholder Engagement, school/CLC heads shall also mobilize their stakeholders and allow for community participation to effectively facilitate and implement the essential services, processes, and programs.

Alternative Work Arrangements

14. Any or a combination of the following alternative work arrangements adapted from CSC Memorandum Circular No. 10, s. 2020 or the Revised Interim Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government During the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic shall be implemented subject to existing guidelines:

a. Work-From-Home (WFH) – refers to an output-oriented work arrangement that authorizes the personnel to produce outputs/results and accomplishments outside of the office or school/CLC.

i. Work-from-home arrangements may be allowed for the following tasks:

1) Research;

2) Policy formulation/review/amendment;

3) Project work, including but not limited to, drafting of proposals/project studies/training modules;

4) Data encoding/processing;

5) Adjudication of cases or review of cases, including legal work;

6) Budget planning and forecasting;

7) Recording, examination and interpretation of financial records and reports;

8) Evaluation and formulation of accounting, auditing and management control systems;

9) Computer programming;

10) Database maintenance;

11) Design work/drafting of drawing plans;

12) Preparation of information materials;

13) Sending/receiving e-mail;

14) HR tasks, e.g. computation of leave credits, preparation of payroll etc., as the case maybe; and

15) Other analogous tasks which require the use of a computer and the World Wide Web (Internet) for reading, encoding, printing or submission of written outputs for the review, evaluation or final presentation/assessment of the immediate supervisor, the head of office or the management.

ii. In the context of DepEd, in addition to the tasks above, the conduct of teaching and learning, whether for professional development or for formal and nonformal education, that can be done remotely shall also be allowed to be accomplished under a work-from-home arrangement and thus deemed analogous case.

iii. To facilitate this arrangement, heads of offices and school/CLC heads shall ensure the following:

1) Personnel are given tasks to be performed to the full extent possible in terms of person-days per workweek;

2) Personnel under WFH shall make themselves available and accessible during working hours, and must be able to respond to directives, requests, and queries through agreed modes of communication with their immediate supervisor and co-workers;

3) Personnel have access to or are provided with adequate and appropriate communication equipment or facilities to facilitate coordination, consultation, and administrative processes. Provision for communication expense shall likewise be provided pursuant to DO 17, s. 2019, DO 004, s. 2020 and OM-OSEC-2020-007, and subsequent issuances that may be issued for this purpose;

4) Work schedule shall be guided by the following:

a) The eight (8)-hour workday shall be observed;

b) Flexible working hours shall still apply starting from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.;

c) The time and attendance or the actual time log (in and out) shall be monitored as reflected in the Office/School/CLC Workweek Plan (Enclosure No. 2) and Individual Daily Log and Accomplishment Report (Enclosure No. 3) as approved by the head of office; and

d) No record of accomplishment means no work has been performed for the day, thus, subjecting the staff to absence.

b. Skeleton Workforce (SWF) – refers to a work arrangement where a minimum number of personnel is required to man the office to render service when full staffing is not possible in order to render essential services as defined above.

In determining the skeleton workforce, heads of offices and school/CLC heads shall be guided by the following parameters:

i. The number of personnel physically reporting to the office shall be kept at a minimum in accordance with the required health standards;

ii. Health and safety conditions and travel limitations shall be taken into consideration in identifying the personnel who shall form part of the skeleton workforce. Offices shall endeavor to provide transportation (e.g., office shuttles, transportation allowance) and accommodation (e.g., dormitories) support subject to existing guidelines; and

iii. Issuance of a travel/office order approved by the head of office and IATF certification/pass, in addition to the DepEd ID for proper identification.

iv. Personnel assigned as skeleton workforce in areas under ECQ or MECQ may observe a six (6)-hour workday on days physically reporting at the office to allow sufficient time to travel and with due consideration of the imposition of curfew hours, limited access to available modes of transportation, and other regulatory limitations on the inter-zonal or cross-border travel.

c. Five-Day Workweek on a Two (2)-week Shifting or Rotation of Work – refers to a work arrangement consisting of a combination of WFH and SWF. It is characterized by a system of batching, shifting, and/or rotation of work that will ensure minimal person-to-person contact and exposure, observance of the 14-day quarantine period due to probable exposure, and easier contact tracing in the event when any personnel is infected or suspected to be infected.

Table 2. Illustrative Example of the Two-week Shifting or Rotation of Work

BatchWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Personnel A, C, ESkeletonSkeletonWFHWFH
Personnel B, D, FWFHWFHSkeletonSkeleton

In this type of alternative work arrangement, heads of offices shall observe the following parameters:

i. A system of batching shall be established such that an individual personnel shall be in contact and exposed only to a specific person or group of persons;

ii. Switching of batches shall only be allowed under exceptional circumstances, such as but not limited to health and safety conditions;

iii. After reporting to work as a skeleton workforce, personnel shall be required to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days or two (2) workweeks, while reporting on a WFH basis; and

iv. Personnel shall be allowed to resume reporting to office or school as skeleton workforce only when there is no manifestation of any COVIDrelated or COVID-like symptoms.

d. Four-day (Compressed) Workweek – refers to a work arrangement whereby personnel are required to physically report to work only for four (4) days each week3. In such an arrangement, heads of offices and school/CLC heads shall limit the number of personnel at any given time to 50% of the total workforce. Any of the following may be adopted:

i. The 4-day workweek may be observed as follows: (a) Monday to Thursday, (b) Tuesday to Friday, (c) Monday to Tuesday and Thursday to Friday, or (d) a combination of the 4-day workdays, to ensure that there are personnel reporting the whole workweek.

ii. To allow for a period of self-quarantine and monitoring following physical reporting to work, either may be employed:

1) Four-day (Compressed) Workweek on a Two-Week Shifting or Rotation of Work. This refers to a work arrangement where personnel will physically report to work for four (4) days each for two weeks, and will be on home quarantine for 14 calendar days, before again returning to work. Personnel on home quarantine shall be on a work from home arrangement.

Table 3. Illustrative Example of Compressed Workweek on a Two-Week Shifting

BatchWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Personnel
A, C, E, G
Mon – Thu: SkeletonMon – Thu:
Skeleton
Mon – Fri:
WFH
Mon – Fri:
WFH
Personnel
B, D, F, H
Mon – Fri:
WFH
Mon – Fri:
WFH
Mon – Thu:
Skeleton
Mon – Thu:
Skeleton

2) Four-day (Compressed) Workweek on a Weekly Shifting or Rotation of Work. This refers to a work arrangement where personnel will physically report to work for four (4) days, and will be on home quarantine for 10 calendar days, before again returning to work. Personnel on home quarantine shall be on a work from home arrangement.

Table 4. Illustrative Example of Compressed Workweek on a Weekly Shifting

BatchWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Personnel
A, C, E, G
Mon – Thu:
Skeleton
Mon – Fri: WFHMon – Thu:
Skeleton
Mon – Fri: WFH
Personnel
B, D, F, H
Mon – Fri: WFHMon – Thu: SkeletonMon – Fri: WFHMon – Thu: Skeleton

e. Staggered Working Hours – refers to a work arrangement applicable to units/personnel that observe work shifting or flexible working time. For this purpose, staggered working hours refers to the existing 24/7 shifting schedule and the flexible working time schedule.

The head of office shall strategize the adoption of the staggered working hours to limit the number of personnel at any given time to 50% of the total workforce.

f. Other Alternative Work Arrangements – refer to work arrangements consisting of a combination of the above enumerated arrangements or other work arrangements appropriate/applicable to the office/school/CLC, such as three-day workweek and 2 days work-from-home arrangement to complete the 40-hour workweek, subject to the prevailing community quarantine in the area where the it is located and the nature of the work/job performed by the personnel.

15. The adoption of alternative work arrangements shall vary depending on the form of community quarantine in the area where the office or school/CLC is situated. Heads of offices and school/CLC heads shall select and implement appropriate alternative work arrangements adapted from CSC MC No. 10, s. 2020 and the Omnibus Guidelines:

Table 5. Summary of Possible Alternative Work Arrangements Based on Quarantine Classification

OfficeECQ and MECQGCQMGCQ
DepEd
Offices (CO, RO,
SDO)
Essential Services: Minimal Skeleton Work Force, with the rest on Work-From-Home (2-week shifting/ rotation highly recommended)
All Other Services: Work-From-Home
Offices/Schools/CLCs requiring physical attendance to work must provide transportation services
All services are classified as essential:
Optimal number of Physically Reporting Work Force Jup to 50% of the total workforce as may be allowed by the required health standards including physical distancing protocols) with the rest on Work-From-Home_(2-week shifting / rotation highly recommended)
or
Other alternative work arrangements presented in paragraph 15 above, as may be applicable and appropriate
Offices requiring physical attendance to work are highly encouraged to provide transportation services
All services are classified as essential:

Full Operational Capacity as may be allowed by required health standards including physical distancing protocols, with other alternative work arrangements employed as appropriate.
Offices requiring physical attendance to work are highly encouraged to provide transportation services
Schools/
CLCs
Face-to-face classes at all levels suspended

Essential Services: Minimal Skeleton Work Force, with the rest on Work-From-Home (2-week shifting/ rotation highly recommended)

All Other Services: Work-From-Home

Offices/Schools/CLCs requiring physical attendance to work must provide transportation services
Face-to-face classes suspended for the duration of the GCQ

All services are classified as essential:

Optimal number of Physically Reporting Work Force (up to 50% of the total workforce as may be allowed by the required health standards including physical distancing protocols) with the rest on Work-From-Home_(2-week shifting / rotation highly recommended)

OR

Other alternative work arrangements presented in paragraph 15 above, as may be applicable and appropriate

Schools/CLCs requiring physical attendance to work are highly encouraged to provide transportation services
All services are classified as essential:

Maximum Operational Capacity as may be allowed by required health standards, with other alternative work arrangements employed as appropriate. Schools/CLCs requiring physical attendance to work are highly encouraged to provide transportation services
Personnel who are below 21 years old, and those who are 60 years old and above, as well as those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risk, and pregnant women, including those who reside with the aforementioned, and are residing in areas placed under GCQ, shall be under Work-From-Home arrangement, except when their services are indispensable under the circumstances or when office work is permitted.Personnel who are 60 years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women shall continue to be under Work-From-Home arrangement except when their services are indispensable under the circumstances.
At all times, required health standards shall strictly be observed, and heads of offices shall give priority to the preferred schedule/arrangement of personnel who are senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities (PWD)

16. In the implementation of such alternative work arrangements, heads of functional offices4, in consultation with the personnel concerned, shall strategize the adoption of a combination of Skeleton/Physically Reporting Workforce and WFH arrangement as deemed appropriate/applicable to the office or school/CLC, and its personnel to ensure continued delivery of services while observing stringent physical distancing protocols and required health standards. Different working arrangements may thus be implemented for each office/school/CLC. The following parameters shall be observed:

a. DepEd offices and schools/CLCs in areas under ECQ and MECQ shall ensure the following:

i. For offices, including schools/CLCs, providing essential services, a minimal number of skeleton workforce shall be allowed to maintain its basic function and operations; while the rest of the staff shall be under WFH arrangement.

ii. For offices providing other services based on their mandates, a WFH arrangement shall strictly apply to all personnel. In exceptional cases, the heads of functional offices may require personnel to report as skeleton workforce, subject to the approval of the Head of Office; provided that said personnel are issued with the required travel/office order approved by the head of office, indicating the reasons for the necessity to render services at the office or school/CLC premises.

b. DepEd offices and schools/CLCs in areas under GCQ shall adopt the appropriate work arrangements as discussed above, with personnel physically reporting to work not exceeding 50% of the total workforce. Adherence to required health standards including physical distancing protocols shall be strictly observed.

c. A two (2)-week shifting or rotation of work is highly encouraged.

d. In the event when a two (2)-week shifting or rotation of work is not feasible, other combinations of Skeleton/Physically Reporting Workforce, WFH arrangements, and other alternative work arrangements may be adopted as deemed appropriate/applicable to the office or school/CLC, and its personnel.

e. Heads of the functional offices shall identify the personnel who shall constitute the skeleton/physically reporting workforce and/or WFH based on the individual personnel’s roles and functions, health and safety conditions, and travel considerations:

i. Personnel whose tasks can only be rendered within the office or school/CLC premises, may be required to physically report to their respective work stations; and henceforth, form part of the skeleton workforce. Otherwise, a WFH arrangement shall be adopted.

ii. School/CLC personnel may be allowed to render services and perform tasks in the school/CLC premises only in the event when a WFH arrangement or online modality is not feasible based on the assessment of the SDO. These activities may include but not be limited to the items enumerated in the preceeding section on Continuity of DepEd Programs and Services for Offices, Schools, and Community Learning Centers.

iii. Personnel who meet the following criteria shall be under WFH arrangement, except when their services are indispensable or when office work is permitted:

a) Personnel who are 21 years old and below, and 60 years old and above;

b) Personnel who are at high risk of infection including but not limited to pregnant women, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, illnesses and/or pre-existing medical conditions as enumerated in Item 4.b.ii of DM No. 043, s. 2020; COVID-19 Suspect Case and COVID-19 Probable Case, including those who reside with the Suspect or Probable Case; and

c) Personnel who will encounter difficulty reporting to office or school/CLC due to the imposition of strict home and/or local community quarantine, curfew, limited or no access to any available modes of transportation options provided by the government, and/or other regulatory limitations on inter-municipality/city travel.

f. DepEd offices and schools/CLCs in areas under MGCQ shall operate at the full operational capacity as may be allowed by required health standards, including physical distancing protocols, with other alternative work arrangements employed as appropriate. Personnel who are 60 years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women shall continue to be under Work-From-Home arrangement, except when their services are indispensable under the circumstances.

g. In the event when the community quarantine status is officially lifted, imposed, or changed (e.g. from ECQ to GCQ or from GCQ to ECQ) in accordance with the IATF directives and guidelines, the applicable type of alternative work arrangement set forth in these guidelines shall be adopted and implemented accordingly.

h. Personnel who will encounter difficulty reporting to office due to border community quarantine conflict, limited or no access to any available modes of transportation options, and/or other regulatory limitations on inter-municipality/city travel may be allowed to report to any DepEd office/s near their residence provided that the following conditions are complied with:

i. Proper coordination with the respective heads of offices is done;

ii. Attendance and work outputs are monitored;

iii. Work in the accepting DepEd office is not in any case disrupted; and

iv. Stringent physical distancing and required health standards are strictly observed.

Safe Return to Work

17. Heads of offices, and school/CLC heads shall implement precautionary measures in their areas of responsibility, such as, but not limited to the following, prior to the resumption of normal office operations:

a. Disinfection or decontamination activities on all its buildings, facilities, and office vehicles.

b. The disinfection should be part of the regular maintenance and upkeep of the office/school/CLC.

c. Conduct of health status survey to ensure that all those reporting to the office are in tip-top shape and that no one is exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19 disease.

d. Modification of the workplace layout to ensure observance of physical distancing requirements of those who will be reporting to the office.

18. For alternative work arrangements that require physical presence in the office/school/CLC premises, physical distancing requirements shall always be observed.

19. Heads of offices, and school/CLC heads shall implement the required health standards at all times such as, but not limited to, wearing of face masks, taking of body temperature, and presence of sanitation stations.

20. Heads of offices, and school/CLC heads shall conduct meetings utilizing available videoconferencing/teleconferencing technologies, whenever applicable, minimizing face-to-face interaction among personnel, and adhering to IATF and DOH restrictions on mass gatherings.

21. Heads of offices and school/CLC heads shall implement health/psychosocial support interventions to personnel like health and wellness sessions, stress debriefing, among others.

Performance Monitoring

22. Performance monitoring and attendance mechanism shall be followed regardless of the type of alternative work arrangement to be used.

Table 6. Summary of Alternative Work Arrangement Forms

DocumentPrepared byApproved bySubmitted toSchedule of Preparation
Office /School/
CLC Workweek
Plan
(Enclosure No.
2)
Head of
Functional
Office or designated staff
Head of OfficePersonnel Div./Section/ UnitBeginning of
week
Individual
Daily Log and
Accomplishme nt Report (Enclosure No.
3
Individual staffHead of OfficeHead of OfficeEnd of week

23. Heads of functional offices, in consultation with the individual personnel, shall set the office workweek plan considering the type of alternative work arrangements adopted.

a. An Office/School/CLC Workweek Plan (Enclosure No. 2), indicating the consolidated individual personnel’s targeted deliverables and schedule based on the type of alternative work arrangement adopted by the office or school/CLC, approved by the Head of Office, shall be submitted to the respective Personnel Division/Units.

b. The individual personnel’s performance target/s and expected output/s for each week shall be agreed upon by the personnel concerned and the head of the functional office or school/CLC or their immediate supervisor. Targets and outputs of personnel who form part of the skeleton workforce shall be supervised by the head of the functional office while personnel in work from arrangement (WFH) shall submit their accomplished workweek plan, provided that all targets and outputs of alternative work arrangements will be reflected in the Office Workweek Plan.

c. For teachers prior opening of classes, individual workweek plans and target outputs shall include the tasks enumerated in the Continuity of DepEd Programs and Services for Offices, Schools, and Community Learning Centers in these Guidelines. Upon official opening of classes, teachers shall perform tasks aligned with the learning continuity plan adopted by their respective schools consistent with RPMS-IPCRF requirements.

24. Heads of functional offices and schools/CLCs shall ensure that all personnel are provided with appropriate tools and equipment to perform their respective functions whether on-site or off-site, and are given adequate information and orientation to understand the work arrangements and mechanisms (e.g. time and frequency of communication) adopted by the office.

25. Heads of functional offices and schools/CLCs shall monitor and oversee the individual personnel’s performance and well-being.

a. A monitoring and reporting mechanism shall be adopted to validate the performance of assigned work and functions, and ensure the delivery of committed tasks and outputs.

b. A weekly alignment meeting within each functional office shall be done to ensure regular monitoring, reporting, and consultation as well as keeping track of individual personnel’s health and well-being.

26. At the end of each workweek, personnel shall be required to submit an Individual Daily Log and Accomplishment Report (Enclosure No. 3), indicating the accomplishment of agreed target and outputs as reflected in the Office/School/CLC Workweek Plan. The workweek plan and individual personnel’s accomplished outputs shall be the basis of the weekly performance monitoring and assessment by the heads of the functional office or school/CLC or immediate supervisor/raters.

27. Heads of offices or school/CLC heads shall approve and certify the submission of the electronic copies of the enclosures with their digital/electronic signature, more especially in cases where the individual personnel are adopting WFH arrangement or exempted to report as Skeleton/Physically Reporting Workforce. The individual personnel is allowed to sign the original printed copies after the declaration of the State of Public Health Emergency in compliance with administrative rules and regulations.

Work Hours

28. Section 5, Rule XVII of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of EO 292 states that all government officials and personnel are required to render eight (8) working hours a day for five (5) days a week, or a total of 40 hours a week excluding time for lunch. In compliance thereto and the provisions set forth in CSC MC No. 10, s. 2020, the guidelines in the succeeding section on Attendance Monitoring shall govern relative to work hours during this period of national emergency situation.

29. The work schedule defined in Item No. 15 for each type of alternative work arrangement shall be observed.

Attendance Monitoring

30. Attendance Monitoring shall be guided by the following:

a. The time and attendance or the actual time log (in and out), regardless of alternative work arrangement, shall be monitored using the Office/School/CLC Workweek Plan (Enclosure No. 2) and Individual Daily Log and Accomplishment Report (Enclosure No. 3), as approved by the Head of Office.

b. Personnel reporting for duty, whether on-site or off-site, shall check-in with their immediate supervisor through the agreed mode of communication to record their actual time log (in and out); and reflect the same in the Individual Daily Log and Accomplishment Report (Enclosure No. 3).

c. No record of time log and accomplishment shall mean that no work has been rendered/performed for the day, thus subjecting the personnel to absence.

d. Personnel shall ensure that they are available during the agreed working hours, and readily accessible through agreed modes of communication in order to respond to directives, requests, and queries.

e. Aside from the submission of Individual Daily Log and Accomplishment Report (Enclosure No. 3), personnel assigned as skeleton workforce may also record the actual time log on the days physically reporting to work using the log book or other Daily Time Record (DTR) mechanisms that will not require contact. Use of biometric machines is highly discouraged during this period to minimize contact.

f. The CSC Form 48 or the DTR of those who form part of the skeleton workforce shall reflect the report of the hours of work performed by the personnel, record of which was made daily at the time of arrival/time-in and departure/time-out from work station/office. The DTR, certified and approved by the Head of Office/Immediate Supervisor, shall be submitted to the Personnel Division/Section/Unit every 10th day of the succeeding month, together with the approved Individual Workweek Accomplishment Report.

g. Personnel whose functions can only be rendered in the office or school premises, such as, but not limited to, administrative aides, clerks, utility workers, and other related job groups, and/or whose performance of duties are dependent only on the equipment and materials available in the office or school, and has justifiable reasons for not forming part of the skeleton workforce, shall not be considered as absent subject to the approval of the head of office.

Overtime Services with Pay

31. The rendition of overtime services and the corresponding remuneration, either through Compensatory Time Off or Overtime Pay, of personnel under the alternative work arrangements shall be in accordance with CSC and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Joint Circular No. 02, s. 2015 (Policies and Guidelines on Overtime Services and Overtime Pay for Government Employees) and DO 30, s. 2016 (Policies and Guidelines on Overtime Services and Payment in the Department of Education) as amended by DO 5, s. 2019, as well as other relevant and applicable rules and regulations, subject to availability of funds and the usual accounting and auditing procedures. Should there be a need to clarify these guidelines in light of the COVID-19 context, the Finance strand shall issue a memorandum with guidance from the CSC, the DBM, and/or the Commission on Audit on the matter.

Leave of Absence

32. The Department shall adopt the provisions under CSC MC No. 08, s. 2020 or the Interim Guidelines on the Use of Leave Credits for Absences Due to Quarantine and/or Treatment Relative to Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19).

a. The following personnel of the Department are excused from absence and the same shall not be chargeable against their leave credits:

i. Those who are assigned as frontline service and those who are under alternative work arrangements, such as but not limited to WFH, skeleton workforce, workweek plan, staggered working hours and other arrangements adopted to ensure the delivery of service of the office;

ii. Officials and personnel coming from official or personal travel from countries with or without localized COVID-19 transmissions who underwent the required quarantine period and/or treatment for COVID-19;

iii. Those who had exposure with co-workers who contracted the COVID-19; and

iv. Those who are infected through local transmission due to personal or nonwork related activities who underwent quarantine in any public health facility for observations or went straight to the hospital for treatment and/or advised to go on quarantine at home because of mild to moderate symptoms. This includes those living with family member/s who are either considered as Suspect or Probable Case.

b. Absence from work during the fourteen (14) calendar days required quarantine period of officials and personnel on personal travel from countries with or without localized transmissions without approved travel authority before or after the declaration of the state of public health emergency due to COVID-19 threat, who underwent the required period of quarantine and/or treatment for COVID-19 shall be considered as sick leave and shall be deducted from their earned sick leave credits, if any. Treatment for COVID-19 shall be charged against their earned sick leave credits.

c. In the event that the personnel has exhausted his/her sick leave credits, Section 56 of the Omnibus Rules on Leave shall apply allowing the use of vacation leave credits in lieu of sick leave credits. In case the vacation leave credits have been exhausted, the personnel may apply for sick leave of absence without pay.

d. For teachers, the COVID-19-related leave and/or absences as mentioned in Item 28.b and 28.c above shall be charged against their accumulated service credits.

e. Personnel who underwent treatment shall submit the following requirements to Personnel Division/Section/Unit upon return to work:

i. Application for Leave of absence duly approved by the head of office;

ii. Certificate issued by government/accredited physician that the

personnel concerned submitted himself/herself for monitoring/investigation, as applicable; and

iii. Medical certificate declaring that the personnel concerned is cleared to report to back to work.

f. Personnel under WFH arrangement may still apply for leave of absences. Respective Personnel Division/Section/Unit shall allow online submission and processing of leave requests using electronic signatures, provided the concerned personnel/office used the respective official email address for security and accuracy purposes.

g. The respective Personnel Division/Section/Unit shall monitor the implementation of the use of leave credits for absences due to quarantine and/or treatment relative to COVID-19, pursuant to CSC rules and other existing and applicable guidelines. Heads of offices shall also ensure that efficiency and productivity work standards are met, and that delivery of public service is not prejudiced during the required quarantine and/or treatment of concerned officials and personnel.

Holidays, Weekends, and Work Suspension

33. In case the duty or work schedule of personnel under alternative work arrangement falls on a regular holiday special nonworking day, and/or work/class suspension, the required 40-hour workweek shall be considered as complied. However, if the personnel is required to render work during those days and on weekends, he or she should be entitled to additional compensation like overtime or compensatory time off, among others, subject to Item No. 27 above and other relevant and applicable government rules and regulations.

34. Teachers are not required to hold Saturday or Sunday classes. However, should they render service through the conduct of distance learning activities to be undertaken by the learners, they may be granted service credits as authorized by the Schools Division Superintendent.

Hazard Pay

35. Hazard Pay to Government Personnel who physically report for work during the period of implementation of an Enhanced Community Quarantine and Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine relative to the COVID-19 Outbreak shall be granted pursuant to Administrative Order No. 26 (Authorizing the Grant of Hazard Pay to Government Personnel Who Physically Report for Work During the Period of Implementation of an Enhanced Community Quarantine Relative to the COVID-19 Outbreak) and Budget Circular No. 2020-1 (Guidelines on the Grant of COVID-19 Hazard Pay), and as guided by OUF Memoranda 2020-0128 and 2020-0170.

Additional Allowance

36. DepEd shall study the feasibility of providing other additional allowances to support the personnel in effectively carrying out the alternative working arrangements, subject to existing government rules and regulations on eligible expenses.

Technology and Equipment

37. Heads of offices and school/CLC heads shall ensure that personnel have access to or are provided with adequate and appropriate communication equipment or facilities, such as computer/laptop, facsimile, telephone, or mobile phone, and internet access to facilitate coordination, consultation, and administrative processes.

38. The use of DepEd official accounts in accessing online tools, such as G Suite and Microsoft Office 365, shall be highly encouraged to ensure credibility and secure data back-up and privacy protection.

39. Heads of offices and school/CLC heads shall also ensure that personnel are capacitated/oriented on the online platforms and tools to support them in accomplishing their performance targets as indicated in the respective workweek plan.

Transportation Arrangements

40. DepEd offices and schools/CLCs shall comply with the provisions on the IATF Omnibus Guidelines on the transportation limitations and government work operations:

Table 7. Transportation limitations

CLASSIFICATIONTRANSPORTATION
ECQSection 02, item nos. 09, 10 and 13:
a. No public transport
b. Personnel processing payroll may be allowed to travel during EcQ
MECQSection 03, item no. 11
a. No public transport, biking and non-motorized transport encouraged, no inter-island travel
GCQSection 04, item no. 04 and 14:
b. “for offices requiring employees to report physically to work…, commissioned shuttle services as well as point-to-point transport services may be provided”
c. Available public transport with strict safe distancing; Inter-island (GCQ to GCQ), with safety protocols
MGCQSection 05, item nos. 07 and 08:
a. Available public transport but with limited capacity due to physical distancing protocols

41. For areas under ECQ and MECQ, DepEd offices and schools/CLCs shall be required to arrange/provide shuttle services or carpools to transport personnel, who are part of the minimal Skeleton workforce, to and from their residences and workstations.

42. For areas under GCQ and MGCQ, DepEd offices and schools/CLCs shall, as much as possible based on available resources, arrange shuttle services or carpools for the personnel who will be physically reporting to work.

43. Strict health and physical distancing measures shall still be followed within the vehicles.

Monitoring and Reporting Templates

44. To ensure the smooth implementation of the alternative work arrangements, the following forms to be accomplished are attached to this Department Order:

Enclosure No. 2 – Office/School/CLC Workweek Plan; and

Enclosure No. 3 – Individual Daily Log and Accomplishment Report.

Monitoring and Evaluation

45. The Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development (BHROD), Quality Assurance Division of the ROs and the School Governance Operations Division of the SDOs shall monitor compliance to the guidelines to ensure the unhampered delivery of basic education services from schools to DepEd offices across governance levels. The BHROD shall lead in the review of the implementation of this Policy.

Transitory Provision

46. To avoid risks of exposure and to allow for the proper understanding and operationalization of alternative work arrangements and required health standards in offices, schools, and CLCs, the status quo on work arrangements for officials, teaching and nonteaching personnel in the entire DepEd nationwide is extended until June 30, 2020. All teachers in DepEd schools nationwide shall continue to work from home until June 30, 2020, except for those specifically authorized by the Regional Directors to form part of the skeleton workforce who will render work in school, subject to observance of COVID-19 health and safety precautions. Said period will provide sufficient time for heads of offices to supply operational details in the implementation of these guidelines, to prepare the workplaces and schools/CLCs for full compliance of the required health standards, and to orient the personnel on such standards and their work arrangements.

Effectivity

47. These guidelines shall take effect immediately upon issuance and shall remain in force until the State of National Emergency has been lifted by the President of the Philippines.

DepEd Revised Guidelines on Alternative Work Arrangements Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Alternative Work Arrangements

refers to flexible work arrangements recommended by the Civil Service Commission for workers in the government during the period of state of National Emergency due to COVID-19 Pandemic. These include Work-From-Home, Skeleton Workforce, Four-day (compressed) Workweek, and Staggered Working Hours.

Work-From-Home (WFH)

refers to an output-oriented work arrangement that authorizes the personnel to produce outputs/results and accomplishments outside of the office or school/CLC.

Skeleton Workforce (SWF)

refers to a work arrangement where a minimum number of personnel is required to man the office to render service when full staffing is not possible in order to render essential services as defined above.

Five-Day Workweek on a Two (2)-week Shifting or Rotation of Work

refers to a work arrangement consisting of a combination of WFH and SWF. It is characterized by a system of batching, shifting, and/or rotation of work that will ensure minimal person-to-person contact and exposure, observance of the 14-day quarantine period due to probable exposure, and easier contact tracing in the event when any personnel is infected or suspected to be infected.

Four-day (Compressed) Workweek

refers to a work arrangement whereby personnel are required to physically report to work only for four (4) days each week. In such an arrangement, heads of offices and school/CLC heads shall limit the number of personnel at any given time to 50% of the total workforce. Any of the following may be adopted:

Four-day (Compressed) Workweek on a Weekly Shifting or Rotation of Work

This refers to a work arrangement where personnel will physically report to work for four (4) days, and will be on home quarantine for 10 calendar days, before again returning to work. Personnel on home quarantine shall be on a work from home arrangement.

Staggered Working Hours

refers to a work arrangement applicable to units/personnel that observe work shifting or flexible working time. For this purpose, staggered working hours refers to the existing 24/7 shifting schedule and the flexible working time schedule.

Other Alternative Work Arrangements

refer to work arrangements consisting of a combination of the above enumerated arrangements or other work arrangements appropriate/applicable to the office/school/CLC, such as three-day workweek and 2 days work-from-home arrangement to complete the 40-hour workweek, subject to the prevailing community quarantine in the area where the it is located and the nature of the work/job performed by the personnel.

Personnel

refer to both teaching and non-teaching personnel, otherwise qualified as either teachers/teaching personnel or nonteaching personnel.

Heads of Offices

refer to the highest officials in each governance level. For the Central Office (CO), “head of office” refers to the Secretary or his/her designated Undersecretary/Assistant Secretary/Bureau or Service Director supervising a specific strand/bureau/service/office/unit. For Regional Offices (ROs), “head of office” refers to the Regional Director (RD). For Schools Division Offices (SDOs), “head of office” refers to the Schools Division Superintendent (SDS).

Heads of Functional Offices

refer to division chiefs or unit heads. For Schools/CLCs, “heads of functional offices” refer to the School/CLC Heads.

Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)

refers to the implementation of temporary measures imposing stringent limitations on movement and transportation of people, strict regulations of operating industries, provision of food and essential services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)

refers to the transition phase between ECQ and General Community Quarantine (GCQ), when the following temporary measures are relaxed and become less necessary: stringent limits on movement and transportation of people, strict regulation of operating industries, provision of food and essential services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

General Community Quarantine (GCQ)

refers to the implementation of temporary measures limiting movement and transportation, regulation of operating industries, and presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ)

refers to a transition phase between GCQ and New Normal, when the following temporary measures are relaxed and become less necessary: limiting movement and transportation, the regulation of operating industries, and the presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

Minimum Public Health Standards

refers to guidelines set by Department of Health (DOH) in Administrative Order No. 2020-015, as well as sector-relevant guidelines issued by national government agencies, to aid all sectors in all settings to implement non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), which refer to public health measures that do not involve vaccines, medications or other pharmaceutical interventions, which individuals and communities can carry out in order to reduce transmission rates, contact rates, and the duration of infectiousness of individuals in the population to mitigate COVID-19. For this purpose, the Department of Tourism and Department of Public Works and Highways are recognized as the sector-national agencies with respect to tourism and construction, respectively. For basic education, it is DepEd, and its sector relevant guidelines will be issued as Required Health Standards in Schools and Offices.

Mark Anthony Llego

He is the brain of TeacherPH. Growing up being surrounded by educators, a passion for education has grown in him. Mark spends his time writing and spreading online articles about the educational world. He likes emphasizing critical political issues that involve issued on the educational system of the country. Join Our Facebook Discussion Group

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