DepEd OKs continuation of private schools’ ongoing classes

Photo: Unsplash/Felipe Schiarolli

The Department of Education (DepEd) is allowing private schools with ongoing classes to continue after announcing on Saturday that the formal opening of the 2020 to 2021 school year will be moved from August 24 to October 5.

The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) in a statement on Friday said that it was “caught off guard” with the news of the postponement
of classes.

“Our preparations for remote learning have been motivated by our desire to resume school operations urgently for the benefit of our learners and also the welfare of around 300,000 teachers and other school personnel in top priority, and this is why we prepared well for online and distance learning modes,” said COCOPEA.

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.

In a virtual press briefing, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones clarified that President Duterte’s approval of the class opening deferment applies to both public and private schools at the basic education level. Briones further noted that schools providing basic education but under higher education would not be affected by any adjustments to the opening of classes.

Records indicate that as 1,277 private schools started classes even before August 24, and 2,195 private schools were slated to open school on August 24.