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DepEd: Public schools reopen 24 August 

Neil Alcober

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Classes can be physical or virtual, according to DepEd Sec. Leonor Briones. (Pasig City PIO)
Classes for school year 2020-2021 will begin on 24 August, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said Tuesday.
“Ang napili nating school opening date ay August 24,” Briones said in a virtual press briefing.
“Pero hindi ibig sabihin na lahat physical na papasok kasi may lockdown naman tayo sa iba’t ibang mga lugar. Puwedeng virtual, puwede ding physical sa mga lugar na ina-allow ang physical na pagbukas ng eskuwelahan,” she explained.
The DepEd chief, meanwhile, said the current school year’s end was on 30 April.
“Pero una sa lahat, ang pinakamalaking konsiderasyon natin dito ay to protect the health and the safety and well-being of learners. Iyon ang pinakaunang priority natin,” she said.
Briones also said that it was a big challenge for her agency because the new teaching methodologies that they started before the COVID-19 pandemic have been fast-tracked and were given emphasis.
“Kasi mayroon namang tinatawag na flexible learning options, puwedeng may mga schools na handa na daw sila na magbukas ng online, ma-public or ma-private ng kanilang school lessons,” she said.
Briones said teachers will render service whether physically or virtual from 1-30 June as this was already the enrollment period.
“Ibig sabihin kasi, entitled sila sa dalawang buwan na bakasyon, eh nakadalawang buwan na silang bakasyon tapos sa 1-30 June, magre-report na sila, as I said, online or physically,” she said.
From 1-30 June until the opening of school classes in August, teachers will undergo capacity building on new lessons.
“Mayroon tayong bagong mga platform na more than 5 million na ngayon ang nagsu-subscribe, itong tinatawag na DepEd Commons at saka may mga bagong programa din tayo para sa mga bata so they can learn while in school, with the guidance of their parents,” Briones said.
Malacañang on Tuesday said that it respects the DepEd’s decision to start the opening of classes this August instead of September as what the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Actually, on this issue po, we defer to the Department of Education kasi nga po ang early recommendation was September pero ang sabi nga ng DepEd, we have to implement the law and it’s our mandate to implement the law and that is why we respect the decision of DepEd to open some of the schools on the 24th, Roque said.
Briones earlier said that it is eyeing the resumption of classes for the incoming school year to start in August from the original schedule of June.
She said that upon consultation with stakeholders, majority recommended to move class resumptions so that there will be time to adjust education methods as well as sanitize the schools for the safety of the returning students. With Francis T. Wakefield
p: wjg

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