In a recent Laging Handa briefing, Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla stated that the agency plans to submit several dates for consideration to President Rodrigo Duterte regarding when the first day of classes for the upcoming school year shall take place, in the elementary and secondary levels.
The announcement comes a month before the current school year is set to come to a close.
According to Sevilla, apart from the previously reported date of August 23, there will be others up for selection by Duterte, with recommendations from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
This coincides with the stipulations of Republic Act (RA) 11480 which specifies that the beginning of a new school year must be any date between the first Monday of June and the last day of August, but grants the president the power to choose a later date if a state of emergency or calamity were declared.
Further details on the decision nor any soon to be made announcements, were not provided.
Meanwhile, the Comission on Higher Education (CHEd) recently stated that in the coming as well as all foreseeable, future school years, traditional face-to-face classes will be scrapped in favor of the current distanced learning program.
CHEd Secretary Prospero de Vera III spoke about how a return to the old normal would not be advisable in case of another pandemic, and that the efforts of their agency to set up distanced learning infrastructure would go to waste.
Any face-to-face classes henceforth would be minimal, and conducted only by certain institutions.
Much like DepEd’s start of classes announcement, CHEd is yet to give any concrete details on this new policy.
In slight contrast however, Education Secretary Leonor Briones stated that she is hopeful that the president will soon give the go-signal to resume limited face-to-face classes in low-risk zones.
DepEd also began its Vacc2School program last week, in order to raise awareness and knowledge on vaccination, among their constituents.