Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of uncertainties surround the opening of school year 2020-2021. The Department of Education (DepEd) is still unsure whether classes can start in June.
Months ago, DepEd announced that the first day of classes might be on June 1 as it is the first Monday of June. Under the law, specifically Republic Act No. 7977, “school year shall start on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August.”
In view of the current situation the world is facing, there is high probability that classes can’t start by June, let alone June 1.
It might even be possible that DepEd would be breaking the law and announce the start of classes at a day after August. However, in light of the circumstances, that is quite understandable. In fact, it might even be expected.
“Wala pang detalye pero they just unveiled the concept kung paano gagawin… Ibig-sabihin mayroon silang plano kung paano mag-deliver ng education sa ating mga kabataan,” revealed Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, Chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
“I-unveil nila ‘yan in the next 30 days kung ano ‘yung mga detalye… Within this month, titingnan natin ‘yung situation para maka-decide tayo kung may pasok sa June or de-delay ito ng a few months.”
The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has been extended to the end of April, but there is also a possibility that this might be extended again due to the continued rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.
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“We are preparing a Learning Continuity Plan. We will make and announce our decision anytime after (enhanced community quarantine) extension,” said DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan.
The DepEd is still deliberating on pressing issue but also working on contingency plans for all “projected scenarios”. However, the final date is yet be decided.
“The DepEd’s executive and management committees are extensively working together to be prepared with contingency plans per projected scenarios. DepEd is still preparing our learning continuity plan, but a lot is contingent on the (COVID-19) projections and this matter is still under discussion by IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease),” said DepEd spokesperson Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla.
Many are curious what the DepEd’s learning continuity plan will be, but this could involve online lessons.
“In our curriculum, we have come up with Plans A, B, and so on. So far, we assume that our [school] calendar will be followed but we also know that anything can happen so as early as now, there are contingency measures being undertaken. The concerned agencies are coordinating regularly for contingency measures for the school opening,” explained DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.