MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education on Tuesday announced that SY 2020-2021 classes will start by August 24. This is a precaution considering the current status of the novel coronavirus.
In a virtual press briefing, Education Secretary Leonor Briones stated that the SY 2020-2021 will begin on August 24. She stated that it may be through either physical or virtual means.
She stressed that safety and health precaution is still the number on priority at hand. However, education must still go on despite the turbulent times.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should attend class physically because we have lockdowns enforced in various areas.” she said.
Briones added, ” It can be virtual, it can also be physical in areas where schools are allowed to open.”
While school classes normally start by June, a relatively new legislation has changed that. Republic Act 7977 or “The Act on Lengthening of School Calendar” permits schools to commence classes from June to August.
The upcoming school year is scheduled to end by April 30, 2021, a month later compared to the March ending.
Remodeling of Education
The Philippine public school system is notorious for overcrowding and poor ventilation systems. These, at a time of a global pandemic, promote greater community transmissions.
In response to this, the Department of Education are looking into ways to lessen population density in schools.
While online learning platforms are explored, the issue on the lack of connectivity is still prevalent considering the internet systems.
DepEd undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio stated that, “There are students without access to technology that’s why we’re preparing our printed instructional packets or self-learning kits.”
In response to this global pandemic, the DepEd was quick to release DepEd Memorandum No. 42 stating the suspension of classes in public schools.
They stated that the competencies for SY 2019-2020 are most likely already covered, hence, the need for final examinations was forgone. Instead grade transmutations formulas were applied.