The Department of Education has issued new guidelines on the selection of honor students in the primary and secondary levels nationwide.

Through DepEd Order 92, series of 2009, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus informed that the candidate for honors at any grade or year level shall be drawn from the Top 10 pupils or students of the school. Likewise, the candidates for honors must not have a final grade lower than 80 percent in any subject.

“To determine the Top 10 pupils or students, they shall be ranked using the 7-3 scheme which means 7 points for academic performance and 3 points for co-curricular activities, while their grades in the previous curriculum level shall not be considered in the ranking of honors for graduating pupils or students,” Secretary Lapus stated in the order.

The new DepEd Order also stated that a final rating of a student shall be computed to the three decimal places. In case of a tie, either of the candidates shall be given the same honors, whatever the rank, may it be valedictorians, salutatorians, or first honorable mentions, may be.

Included in the new guidelines is the provision that all candidates for honor must be of good moral character, and have not been subjected to any disciplinary actions within the current year.

The revised guidelines also give recognition to achievements of pupils and students in specific subjects such as mathematics, science, and English or in co-curricular activities such as athletics, performing arts, and campus journalism.

Unlike in the past when transferees are not even considered for honors, especially the top honor, the new guidelines provide that transferees shall be considered. This is now possible, provided the student or students were enrolled in the school not later than the second week of classes in the current school year.

Duly recognized annexes of public elementary and secondary schools with complete curriculum grades or year levels are now allowed by DepEd to choose their own set of school children with honors.

The School Selection Committee with the school principal as chairman, with three qualified teachers as members, is required to officially announce the selected honor pupils or students not later than 15 days before the school’s Graduation Day, the DepEd Order also stated.

The revised guideline provides that any member of the selection committee must not be related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to any of the candidates for honor.

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