DepEd defers school opening to October 5

Photo: Facebook/DepartmentOfEducation.PH

The formal opening of classes for school year 2020-2021 has been moved to October 5.

The Department of Education (DepEd) made the announcement on its Facebook page on Saturday. According to the post, President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendations of DepEd which were sent on August 6. The proposal was made in response to the implications of having a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) enforced in Metro Manila and in certain provinces.

Areas not falling under the MECQ are advised to continue doing simulations of the flexible learning to get ready for schools opening in October. The time freed up will be used by DepEd to “provide relief to logistical limitations” by areas under the MECQ.

Pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 11480, which gives the President the power to move the date of the opening of classes in the Philippines or in areas during a state of calamity, an amendment was made to Republic Act (RA) No. 7797, which states that classes must open as early as the first Monday of June but no later than the last day of August. Teachers’ groups and several lawmakers have been calling for the education bureau to delay the opening of the school year amid reports of educators not being prepared and being ill-equipped to transition to a blended learning approach.

Classes were earlier disrupted in March as community quarantines were implemented all over the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under blended learning, television, radio, and the Internet are combined as modes of instruction as face-to-face classes will be largely prohibited.

“We are now finalizing arrangements for television programs, radio programs, and also our much-favored modular system and printed material plus many other modalities so it’s not limited to online because we know also there are limitations to online,” said DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.

“We trust that this is the final adjustment of the school opening,” added Briones. “Even with the implementation of [modified enhanced community quarantine], we will use this time to make the necessary adjustments and ensure that all preparations have been made for the successful opening of classes.”