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Palace: IATF approves moving of school opening to Aug 24

By Catherine S. Valente, TMT/The Manila Times

THE Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the recommendation to move this year’s school opening to August 24 because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, MalacaƱang announced on Saturday.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the IATF approved the basic education continuity plan proposed by the Department of Education (DepEd) during their meeting on Friday.

“Ang pagbubukas ng klase sa basic education ay simula na po sa 24 ng Agosto 2020 at magtatapos ng Abril 30, 2021 (The opening of classes in basic education will start on August 24, 2020 and end on April 30, 2021),” Roque said during a virtual press briefing.

Private schools, meanwhile, may re-open as early as June but personal interactions are prohibited before August 24, according to Roque.

“Gagamitin po natin ang iba’t ibang learning delivery options tulad ng face-to-face, distance learning at home schooling (We will use different learning delivery options such as face-to-face, distance learning and home schooling,” Roque said.

“At magkakaroon din po tayo ng pagkansela ng nga extra curricular activities kung saan merong malaking pagtitipon gaya ng school sports, campus journalism, job fairs at iba pa (And there will a cancellation of all extra curricular activities that require gathering of students such as sports events and job fairs,” he added.

Public and private schools have been closed since March as a precautionary measure against the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that DepEd has decided to delay the school opening and moved it to August to ensure the safety and welfare of both teachers and students.

She said schools may use the months prior to the August opening to prepare for the so-called “new normal” involving the use of flexible learning options and other multimodal learning approaches due to the limitations brought about by the pandemic.

“No need for face-to-face if not allowed by IATF,” the DepEd chief added.

As allowed by the Republic Act 7797 or “An Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred (200) days to not more that Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days,” the school year shall start on the “first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August.”

Traditionally, public schools open in June every year while private schools start their classes either in July or August since they are allowed to “deviate” from the school calendar prescribed by DepEd.


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