MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) has started its fact-finding probe into an incident in a public school in Camarines Norte where learners reportedly shared one mask during commencement exercises.
In a statement, the DepEd described the incident as a “breach of minimum health standards and social distancing protocols”.
“According to the report filed, the incident happened at Brgy. Dogongan, Daet, Camarines Norte last June 11, 2020. We take this matter seriously and will have a firm and rectifying action to prevent a further breach in the future,” the DepEd said.
Apart from the investigation, the DepEd requested the “person involved in the breach to submit a written explanation”.
Meanwhile, the local DepEd Covid-19 Task Force will monitor the health of the involved learners.
“We have coordinated the case with the Barangay Health Response and Emergency Team and the local government unit in conducting initial precautionary measures and in resolving the incident at the soonest possible time,” the DepEd said.
Earlier, a video showing learners from Barangay Dogongan, Daet, Camarines Norte taking turns using a single mask as their photos are taken during a seeming graduation rite circulated online.
It reiterated that graduation and moving up rites, which require face-to-face interaction, are indefinitely postponed.
It also encouraged schools and community learning centers to conduct virtual rites and other alternative non-face-to-face activities to celebrate the end of the school year.
“For schools that have yet to conduct the end of school year rites, school heads must submit to the Schools Division Superintendent for approval their proposed process for e-graduation rites (including logistics) before conducting the event. Meanwhile, activities that may require face-to-face interaction and allowed through DepEd and IATF guidelines may be conducted only if the necessary health and safety precautions are strictly complied with, subject to the guidelines set for the community quarantine classification of the locality,” the DepEd added.
To date, the department has directed its units and has appealed to the public to always observe the minimum health standards and social distancing protocols to minimize the risk of exposure and mitigate the spread of Covid-19.