The Department of Education (DepEd) Bohol Division reminded its teachers and administrators that school activities particularly mass gatherings are still prohibited while the province is under a general community quarantine (GCQ).
Desiderio Deligero, chief of DepEd Bohol’s School Governance and Operations Division, issued the reminder after the Panglao Central Elementary School in Poblacion, Panglao was found out to have distributed awards and certificates to its students in a ceremony on Monday.
Photos of the event which were posted on social media showed that the school appeared to have held recognition rites but this was denied by the school’s principal, Regina Sumaylo.
Deligero said that Sumaylo explained to him that there was supposed to be only six students at a time who will receive their certificates but some arrived ahead of their schedule making it appear that a mass gathering was held.
According to Deligero, Sumaylo based her decision on Governor Arthur Yap’s executive order which already allowed children to leave their homes on Mondays and Fridays.
In April, a 24-hour curfew for those aged below 18 was imposed while the province was under enhanced community quarantine. The ECQ was downgraded to GCQ this month prompting the Capitol to ease movement restrictions in the province.
“Sa explanation niya [Sumaylo], ang iya nakadungog siya sa executive order ni Governor Arthur Yap na pwede na makagawas ang bata inig Biyernes ug Lunes basta naay ginikinan na kuyog, mao na iyang gibasehan,” he said.
However, the DepEd official clarified that the order only allows children to leave their homes while supervised but school activities and mass gatherings are still prohibited.
Sumaylo has been directed to submit a formal written account of her explanation regarding the issue.
Meanwhile, DepEd Bohol superintendent Bianito Dagatan has ruled against the holding of the school ceremony.
“Pag report nako sa atong superintendent na mao ni nahitabo ingon siya na dili g’yud pwede ingana kay maka generate jud niya og mass gathering,” Deligero said.
Following the incident, Dagatan issued a memorandum reiterating the prohibition on mass gatherings in accordance with the province’s Executive Order No. 28.
“Holding of graduation exercises and the like are still suspended until further announcement. School officials are directed to implement this order immediately,” Dagatan said in the memo. (R. Tutas)