The Department of Education said on May 5 that classes for school year 2020 to 2021 would open on August 24 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Ang napili nating school opening date ay August 24," DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said in a virtual press briefing.
School usually starts in June, but because of the virus and the ongoing quarantines in place to prevent its spread, the first day of classes has been delayed. Republic Act No. 7977 allows school opening to take place not later than the last day of August.
According to Briones, several stakeholders participated in a survey to come up with the new date. There were over 700,000 respondents consulted.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has also been informed of the new date for opening of classes. School year 2020 to 2021 will end on April 30.
Education officials clarified that not all teachers and students are required to go to schools and be physically present for class. However, some teachers have to report for work starting June 1 in order to prepare for the upcoming school year.
Briones said classes could resume online in certain areas with high risk of spreading the virus. Schools can hold virtual lessons to prevent the transmitting COVID-19 in classrooms.
DepEd is also looking into online learning and alternative forms of instruction for the new school year. DepEd Commons, the agency’s online learning portal for students and teachers, is free for use to Globe and Smart subscribers. The agency is also looking into offline methods like take-home work and activities that can aid students’ learning during the pandemic.
In April, DepEd also urged parents to guide their children through online and alternative learning during these times, as teachers cannot focus on students like they could in a normal classroom setup due to COVID-19.
Main image from Pixabay.