Attached is an Aide Memoire from DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua on the request of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for assistance in the conduct of the Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (LEPT) on September 26, 2021.
DTFC Recommendations on the Request of Prc for Assistance in the Conduct of the Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (LEPT) on September 26, 2021
The DepEd Task Force COVID-19 (DTFC) provides the following recommendations to the Secretary and the members of the Executive Committee coordinating with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) regarding their request for DepEd’s assistance in the conduct of the Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (LEPT).
The DTFC recognizes that this initiative of the PRC to resume the administration of the LEPT to our aspiring teachers resonates with DepEd’s unwavering call during this pandemic that education must continue. With this, the DTFC supports the decision of the Secretary and the concerned ExeCom members to approve the request, given the following qualifications:
- Considering the current workload of DepEd teachers in the new normal, it shall be emphasized that their participation will be purely voluntary. The PRC is enjoined to exhaust other potential sources of volunteers outside DepEd.
Further, the PRC shall ensure that appropriate and necessary support shall be provided not only related to the performance of their tasks (e.g., honorarium, meals, transportation or reimbursement of travel expenses whichever is practicable), but in ensuring their safety (e.g., appropriate PPEs, COVID-19 test kits). These arrangements shall be clearly stated in the Memorandum of Agreement between DepEd and the PRC.
- It is recommended that the Commission prioritize teachers who will have been fully vaccinated by September 26, 2021. Teachers who ar.. over 60 years old, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women, as well as those who live with household members who are such, shall be discouraged to volunteer.
- The Department is yet to finalize the date of the opening of the next school year.
Should the schedule of the conduct of the LEPT and the days leading to it fall during the vacation between the current school year and the upcoming school year, teachers, per existing policy, cannot be expected to report to school, and consequently, cannot be obliged to “work from home” either.
Should the LEPT and the days leading to it fall during the first few weeks of classes, volunteer-teachers may be allowed the work-from-home arrangement, provided that arrangements are made to ensure learning continuity during this period. This will minimize the volunteer-teachers’ exposure and interaction with people outside their households.
However, the DTFC does not favor requiring teachers to undergo strict home quarantine for 14 days prior to the LEPT. Instead, it is recommended that volunteer-teachers be required to have a negative COVID-19 test result 24 to 72 hours before they volunteer. It is further recommended that coordination with the IATF or the DOH be done regarding this requirement for testing.
- There must be a prepared list of substitute volunteers in case a number of them manifest COVID-19 symptoms days leading to or on the day of the conduct of the LEPT. Those with symptoms on the day of the LEPT shall not be allowed to proceed.
- Required health standards, aligned with the guidelines of the Department of Health, must be strictly observed in all activities before, during, and after the conduct of the LEPT. For instance, open spaces in the schools such as covered courts shall be utilized as first option for the conduct of the exam.
- Schools currently used as Quarantine Facilities or as Vaccination Sites shall be excluded in the schools that can be used for the conduct of the LEPT. As much as possible, schools to be used shall be within the cities or municipalities where the examinees come from. This is to reduce travel exposure and possible further COVID-19 transmission.
It is further recommended that representatives from the DTFC, particularly from the Office of the Director, Bureau of Learner Support Services (BLSS), together with the BLSS-School Health Division (SHD), be included in the coordination with the PRC’s Licensure Office, as advised, for the drafting and the release of the necessary issuance that will guide the volunteer teachers, particularly on the required health standards that must be observed relative to the performance of their volunteer roles, consistent with my instructions above.
Ultimately, we must work to ensure that the health, safety, and well-being of our personnel remain our top priority.
For queries regarding this concern, please contact Dir. Lope B. Santos III, OIC Director IV, BLSS through email at email@example.com or Dr. Maria Corazon C. Dumlao, Chief, BLSS-SHD, through telephone number 8632-9935 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For consideration of the Secretary and the Execom.