DEPED ORDER NO. 018 S. 2021




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) issued the DepEd Order (DO) No. 012, s. 2020 titled Adoption of the Basic Education Leaming Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, to ensure that teaching and learning continues while securing the health, safety, and well-being of learners, teachers, and other personnel who are involved in the delivery of basic education services. 

2. To supplement the said DO, this Department, through the Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction, issued DM-CI-2020-162, Suggested Strategies in the Implementation of Distance Learning Delivery Modalities for SY 2020-2021, to provide guidelines to schools on the adoption of different distance learning modalities and their combinations. 

3. The DM-CI-2020-162 was followed subsequently by the issuance of DO No. 031, s. 2020 titled Interim Guidelines for Assessment and Grading in Light of the Basic Education Leaming Continuity Plan to provide guidance on the assessment of student learning and on the grading scheme to be adopted during SY 2020-2021. 

4. Given the principles of assessment and the fundamental change in the grading scheme, this policy, Interim Guidelines on Giving of Awards and Recognition in Light of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan for SY 2020-2021, shall provide guidance on academic excellence awards. The awards identified in this policy are deemed appropriate given the extraordinary circumstance surrounding distance learning this SY to deserving learners in Grades 6, 10 and 12, while upholding integrity and fairness. 

5. This policy shall be implemented in all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide for SY 2020-2021. While DO No. 036, s. 2016, Policy Guidelines on Awards and Recognition for the K to 12 Basic Education Program, is still in effect, provisions inconsistent with these new guidelines are suspended for this school year. 

6. Private schools, technical and vocational institutions, and higher education institutions, including state and local universities and colleges offering the K to 12 DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City 1600 6J 8633-7208/8633-7228/8632-1361 • 8636-4876/8637-6209 4

Basic Education Program are encouraged to implement these interim policy guidelines according to their philosophy, vision, and mission. 

7. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Learning Delivery, 4th Floor, Bonifacio Building, Department of Education Central Offrce, DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City through email at or at telephone numbers (O2l 8637 -4346 and (O2) 8637-4347. 

8. Immediate dissemination of a.rrd compliance with this Order is directed. 




As stated 


DepEd Order: (Nos. 012 and O31, s.2O2O;36, s. 2016) 

To be indicated in the Perpetual Index 

under the following subjects: 







MCR/SMMA/APA/MPC, DO lnterie Guidetines on Givine of Awards and Reco@ition... 0108 - April05, 2021

(Enclosure to DepEd Order No. , s.2O2l 


FOR SY 2oi2o,-2o/2t 

I. Rationale 

1 . Awards and recognition have been embedded in the Philippine basic education curriculum because of their profound effect on leaRNers' morale, motivation, self efficacy, and commitment of learners to consistently perform and strive to do better. These meaningful moments of recognition inspire others and reinforce behavior that leads to improvement. 

2. Stakeholders highly value formal recognition program because it promotes positive reinforcement in learners' performance and behavior and influences their intrinsic motivation during low-interest and high-interest tasks (Cameron, et al., 2001). Moreover, using praise and reward system can decrease inappropriate behavior and reinforce desirable behavior in a positive learning environment under certain favorable conditions (Partin, 2O2O; Laura & Peters,20lO). 

3. The School Year 2O2O-2021 has been extraordinar5r and challenging due to the COVID-l9 pandemic and the implementation of distance learning delivery modalities cited in DM-CI-2020- 162, Suggested Strategies in the Implementation of Distance Learning Delivery Modalities for School Year 2020-202-1, in consonance 

with DepEd Order (DO) No. 012, s.2O2O, Adoption of the Basic Education Leaming Continuitg Plan for School gear 2020-2021 in Light of tlue COWD-19 Public Health Emergencg. The temporar5r departure from physical classes to distance learning led to a nimble process of reducing the learning competencies to arrive at the Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCs) which subsequently restructured instruction and recalibrated assessment and grading.DO No. 031, s. 2O2O, Inteim Guidelines on Assessment and Grading In Light of the Basic Education I'earning Continuitg PIan has stipulated a fundamental change in the grading scheme to be more responsive to the adverse circumstances that surround the new learning delivery modalities, and ensuring assessment and evalualion of learning remains valid and reliable. 

4. The flexibility of teaching and learning this school year, the prioritization of the mental health and well-being of learners, being sensitive to equity considerations, and the suspensions of some curricular and co-curricular activities that involve large physical gathering of people, were considered in the issuance of this policy which temporarily suspends selected awards provided for in DO No. 36, s. 2016, Policy Guidelines on Awards and Recognition for the K to 12 Basic Education Program. The basis for these awards are largely from observable behavior in the classroom and various collaborative engagements.

5. However, Academic Excellence Awards will not be suspended to recognize the time, commitment, and effort exerted by all learners, as well as promote a culture of excellence and growth mindset. DO No. 3 1, s. 2020 already ensures that assessment and grading is grounded on the principles of validity, reliability, authenticity, and fairness even in distance learning. Planning and conducting assessment remotely have been made possible through the adoption of various formative and summative assessment strategies where every leamer is properly monitored and receive timely and effective feedback for improvement. 

6. In addition, Academic Excellence Awards are the primary eligibitity requirements for scholarship grants in universities and colleges as indicated in CHED Memorandum order No. 08 s. 2019, Policies and Guidelines for GHED scholarship Programs (CSPs). Private secondary schools, likewise, offer scholarships based on general weighted average being a solid reflection of exemplar5r academic performance in elementary. Thus, it is necessary that academic excellence awards are given to Grades 6, 10, and 12. 

II. Scope 

7. This DepEd order provides for the Interlm pollcg @uldellnes on gfulng o:f Auards and Recognltlon ln Ltght oJ the l*anr.Jng contlnuitg plan for sy 2o2o-2o21that will be implemented by public elementary and secondary schools nationwide this SY 2O2O-2O21. 

8. Private school, technical and vocational institutions, and higher education institutions including state and local universities and colleges offering the K to 12 Basic Education Program zrre encouraged to implement these interim policy guidelines as well. Private schools and institutions are permitted to modify these policy guidelines according to their philosophy, Vision, and Mission. 

III. Definition of Terms 

9. For the purpose of this policy, the following terms are defined: 

a. Academic Excellence Award is a grade-level award that is given to learners from grades 6, 10 and 12 who have attained a general average of at 1east 90 and a passing final grade in all learning areas (Do No. 36, s. 2016). This award, which covers the following categories: with Highest Honors (Mag Pinakamataas na Karangalan), with High Honors (Mag Mataas na Karangalan), and with Honors (May Karangalan) is the only award that shall be given this Sy 2O2O-2O21.

b. suspension of Awards refers to the deferral of giving certain awards and recognition stated in Do No. 36, s. 2016 for sy 2o2o-2021 as these awards entail demonstrations of in-person and collaborative performance possible only for face to-face learning set up. such awards include the following: classroom Awards 

(Performance Awards for Kindergarten, Conduct Awards, Recognition for Perfect Attendance); Grade-level Awards (Leadership Award, Award for Outstanding Performance in Specific Disciplines, Award for Work Immersion, Award for Research or Innovation, Award for Club or Organization Achievement\; and Special Recognition.

IV. Policy Statement 

10. DepEd recognizes the impact of recognition and awards to learners' motivation, self-confidence, and determination especially in a time that is beset with extraordinary challenges brought about by health crisis. The sudden shift to distance learning necessitated adjustments in teaching and learning, and grading and assessment, which led to corresponding modifications in the previously identified awards and recognition provided for in DO No. 36, s. 2O16.

1 1 . This policy is anchored on the provisions of DO No. 3 I , s. 2O2O which stipulates the principles of assessments and the basis of grading. As such, teachers and school leaders must commit to uphold honest5r and fairness in assessing, evaluating, and identifying learners who deserve the awards indicated herein. In effect, this policy encourages learners to be more diligent and mindful in the performance of their learning tasks as these are critical to their success in school and at work. 

V. Procedures 

a. Awards 

12. The Department suspends a majority of the awards and recognition provided in DepEd Order 36, s. 2016. These awards require face-to-face interaction and in person observation of learner's classroom demeanor and performance; however, the current learning set-up limits the basis for authentically identifying recipients of these awards. These awards include the following: Classroom Awards (Performance Awards for Kindergarten, Conduct Awards, Recognition for Perfect Attendance); Grade-level Awards (leadership Award, Award for Outstanding Performance in Specific Disciplines, Award for Work Immersion, Award for Research or Innovation, Award for Club or Organization Achievement); and, Special Recognition. These awards are results of largely observable behavior in the classroom and are demonstrations of exemplary performance in in-person academic and non-academic competitions, which are possible only in a face-to-face learning set-up. 

13. Academic Excellence Awards, however, shall not be suspended for graduating/moving-up learners from Grades 6, 1O, and 12. Academic excellence awards are highly valued by learners and their families, teachers and the community owing to their profound effect on motivation, self-eficacy, and determination of learners to consistently perform and strive to do better especially in these trying times. These awards are also indispensable in applying for 

scholarships and admissions as learners transition to Junior High School, Senior High School, and College, respectively. Conversely, Academic Excellence Awards shall be suspended for learners from Grades 1 to 5, Grades 7 to 9, and Grade 11 this SY 2O2O-2O2L. 

14. The following table provides the awards to be suspended and the awards to be recognized for the SY 2O2O-2O21. 

Awards to be Suspended Awards to be Recognized 

Academic Excellence 

Awards for Grades 1 to 5, Grades 7 to 9, and Grade 1 1 Classroom Awards 

(Performance Awards for 

Kindergarten, Conduct 

Awards, Recognition for 

Perfect Attendance) 

Grade-Leve! Awards 

(Leadership Award, Award for Outstanding Performance in Specific Disciplines, Award for Work Immersion, Award for Research or Innovation, Award for Club or 

Organization Achievement) Special Recognition 

Academic Excellence Awards for 

graduating/ moving up learners from Grades 6, 10, and 12 

15. Academic Excellence Awards for Grades 6, 10, and l2 shall be given at the end of the school year. Recipients of these awards shall have attained a general weighted average of 90 with no failing final grade in any learning area. The general average grade shall be reported as a whole number following relevant provisions in DO No. 8, s. 2015, Policy Guidelines on Classroom Assessment for the Kto 12 Basic Education Program. 

Table 1 shows the specific academic excellence award given to learners who meet the following cut-off grades. 

Table 1. Academic Excellence Award 

Academic Excellence Award General Weighted 

1. With Highest Honors Mag Pinakamataas na Karangalan 

Average 98-100 

2. With High Honors/ Mag Mataas na Karangalan 95-97 

3. With Honors / Mag Karangalan 90-94 

16. In lieu of the awards suspended for SY 2O2O-2021, teachers may recognize exemplary performance through positive reinforcement during synchronous

discussions or through the class' established mechanism for giving constructive feedback to build a levelled opportunity for all learners to excel in distance learning. Different forms of positive reinforcements ensure that teachers create an effective learning environment that nurtures learning engagement and celebrates academic successes. 

17. Teachers are likewise reminded to be more intentional about excluding from grades criteria that can perpetuate inequities, e.g., extra-credit assignments and the likes and shares of outputs posted on social media. It should be recognized that these things are highly dependent on a student's home environment and resources; including them makes grading less equitable (Feldman, 2O2Ol. Learners should not fail nor receive low grades because of circumstances outside their control. Teachers shall observe the guidelines on providing assessment tasks and giving of grades stipulated in DO No.31 s. 2020 and DO No. 8 s. 2015. 

18. The aforementioned provisions shall guide all schools in creating a vibrant and supportive culture of learning even in this time of an emergency health crisis and in framing grades not for rewards and recognition nor as the end of instruction and learning, but as a guide for future decisions to improve the performance of both learners and teachers. 

b. Determining Awardees 

19. As provided in DO No. 36, s. 2016, an Awards Committee (AC) shall be organized by the school head in every school for each grade level (Grades 6, 10, and 12). Por small schools, only one (1) AC shall be organized. The committee must be composed of at least three (3) members from the teaching staff, guidance counselor or designated teacher. The total count of committee members should be an odd number. The chairperson of the AC could be any of the teachers, department head or grade-level chairperson. No member of the AC must be related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to any of the candidates for awards. 

2O. Until face-to-face gathering in the schools is allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the following procedures for determining the awardees shall be carried out virtually by the AC through any video conferencing platform. 

21. The AC shall: 

a. Establish the processes of and timelines in accepting nominations and determining qualifiers for academic excellence awards. 

b. Communicate to the school communit5r, parents, and other stakeholders the processes involved in giving academic excellence awards and the results of the evaluation. 

c. Verify the authenticity of documents submitted (learners' portfolios that contain their written and performance task outputs, class records, report cards, and other school forms).

e. Ensure accuracy in the computation of grades of the candidates. 

f. Recommend to the school head the result of evaluation and deliberation for approval. 

g. Recommend to the school head the resolution on any related issue that may arise from the results of the awards. 

h. Ensure that guidelines stipulated in this policy are followed. 

22. Table 2 shows the activities for determining the awardees with indicative timelines that need to be conducted by the AC. These are recommendatory but may also be revised or adapted to give flexibility to schools. Schools are enjoined to adjust the schedules as necessary. 

Table 2. Steps for Determining the Awardees 


Step 1 Establish the processes of and i'nelines in accepting nominations 

and in determining qualifiers for 

academic excellence award consistent 

with the policy zuidelines. 

Step 2 Seek approval from the school head on processes and timelines. 

Step 3 Communicate the approved processes and timelines to the school 


Step 4 Accept nominees for academic excellence award from the class 

advisers based on the minimum 

requirements set by these guidelines. 

Those that meet the requirements are 

endorsed to the AC by the class 


Step 5 Ensure the accuracy of the computation of grades of each of the 

candidates and check on their 

portfolio (written and performance 

task outputs) and supporting 

documents (class records, report 

cards, other school forms). 

Step 6 Submit results of the evaluation and deliberation to the school head for 


Step 7 Ensure that the results of the evaluation and deliberation are 

communicated to the class advisers, 

parents, nominees, and school 

community (In case of protest/s, ttre 

AC will facilitate its timely resolution). 





June to July 

Step 8 Announce or awardees. 

post the final list of 

23. The AC shall use the report cards and permanent records supported by the learners' portfolio as the main reference for determining the awards. 

24. Tlre report of the AC shall be signed by all members of the committee and certified by the school head. The school head shall approve the final list of awardees upon the recommendation of the committee. If the school head or principal is related within tlle second degree of consanguinity or aflinity to any of the candidates for awards, the school head or principal must inhibit himself/herself from participating in the process. The approval shall come from the person next in rank. 

25. The documents shall be kept in the office ofthe school head for ready reference. Copies of the results shall be submitted to the Schools District and Division Offices. The AC, through the Ofhce of the School Head, shall release the final list of awardees upon the request of stakeholders for scholarship purposes. 

26. Tlne AC, together with the school head, shall determine roles and assign tasks to the awardees (e.g., delivery of graduation speech, batch history) for the graduation or school-awarding ceremony which may be done virtually. 

c. What Awardee will Receive 

27. Awardees in Grades 6, 10, and 12 shall receive medals from the school, bearing the official seal of the Department (DepEd Order No. 63, s. 2011). Schools are required to follow the specifications to ensure the quality of medals and uphold the prestige of the awards. 

Table 3 Technical Specifications o Medals 

Award Technlcal Specification 

Academic E:rcellence Award

a. With Highest Honors Gold b. Wither High Honors Silver 

Medal with DepEd seal (consistent with the guidelines set in DepEd Order No. 31 s. 

c. With Honors 


2019, The Department of Education Seruice Marks and Visual Identitg M anuoll 

Diameter Size: 6cm Weight: 3Og Ribbon width: I inch 

Ribbon color: depending on region 

d. Conducting the Awarding Ceremonies 

28. After the deliberation, the school must plan the program for the awarding ceremonies. All awardees, including their parents or guardians shall be informed by the homeroom adviser. The homeroom adviser shall provide the details including the schedule, program, and role of the parents and the awardees during the awarding. 

29. The awarding ceremonies shall be held virtually to conform with the present ruling of IATF. Schools shall reiterate and communicate with the parents and learners that health and safet5r is the top priority. On the announcement of awardees, schools shall observe their compliance with Data Privacy Act by ensuring that no personal information of learners shal1 be posted without the parents' informed consent. 

30. The program should run in less than two hours, to consider the internet connectivity that will be consumed. Only the awardees, their parents/guardians, teachers, and school administrations will be present during the virtual awarding ceremony. The school has the discretion to broadcast live the virtual awarding ceremonies through appropriate social media platforms. The school shall secure the consent of the parents and learners before doing such broadcast.

The following is the indicative program of activities which may be revised or adapted by the schools: 

A. National Anthem 

B. Opening Prayer 

C. Regional Hymn, Division Hymn, School Hymn 

D. Welcome Remarks 

E. Inspirational Message 

F. Presentation of the School Ofhcials, Teachers, Guests, Parents, and Awardees 

G. Conferment of Awards 

H. Message from the Representative of the Awardees 

I. Closing Remarks 

31. In the Conferment of Academic Excellence Awards, the announcement of the narnes of awardees in each category (i.e., With Honors, With High Honors, With Highest Honors) shall be done in alphabetical order to observe fair, impartial, and non-hierarchical manner of presenting the awardees. 

32. School shall release an official announcement of the awardees for the school year by posting the list in the school bulletin board and shall be communicated through the agreed communication platform that the school has adopted this year in reaching out with the families (i.e., email, messenger, SMS, letter) so that a,ll concemed stakeholders will be informed. 

33. For those adopting modular-based instruction with limited or no access at all to the internet, the school may provide a pre-recorded video where the school head shall acknowledge and confirm the award that the learner shall receive. The pre recorded video may be saved through a USB flash drive or can be shared to the cellular phone of the parents/guardian. The certificate and medal shall be given to the awardees or to the parents and receipt thereof shall be acknowledged accordingly. 

34. The school head may also schedule a date when the parent and awardee may drop by in the school to receive the award and recognition. This must be coordinated properly ensuring that not all awardees will come to school on the same schedule to ensure social distancing. The awardee, together with his/her parent or guardian, shall receive the award from the principal alongside the respective homeroom adviser. This measure shall be consistent with the guidelines regarding age restrictions among children in going out of their residence, and the health and social distancing protocols set by the IATF. 

e. Filing for and Settling Protests 

35. Cases of protest shall be filed by the candidate with his/her parent or guardian to the office of school head within three (3) working days from the receipt of the announcement of the awards and shall be decided on by the school head considering the recommendations of the AC within three (3) working days from filing. 

VI. Monitoring and Evaluation 

36. The school heads shall be primarily responsible in ensuring that the provisions of this policy are properly communicated to all concerned stakeholders in the school. The school head shall lead the implementation of this policy and ensure that teachers shall diligently maintain and keep records of learners' progress as valid bases for giving the awards. 

37. The Regional and Schools Division Offices shall jointly monitor and evaluate the compliance of schools with these guidelines. The Curriculum and Learning Management Division and Curriculum Implementation Division shall collaborate with each other in ensuring that provisions of this policy are complied with. 


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