School opening moved to Oct. 5

MANILA – With just 10 days before the scheduled opening of schools, President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to move the start of classes for the incoming school year to October 5.

In a memorandum issued by Malacañang on Friday, Duterte approved the Department of Education’s (DepEd) recommendation to reschedule the opening of classes amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) health crisis.

“Please be informed that pursuant to the instructions of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and as recommended by the DepEd, the opening of classes is deferred to 05 October 2020,” read the memorandum inked by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, by virtue of Duterte.

The President’s fresh directive was based on Republic Act 11480, which allows him to set a different date for the start of the school year in the country during a state of emergency or state of calamity.

His decision also came following appeals to consider the postponement of the opening of classes on August 24.

The Palace memorandum directs DepEd to ensure that all preparations have been made for the “smooth and successful” virtual opening of classes for Academic Year 2020-2021.

The law states that the school year will start on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August.

The DepEd initially scheduled school opening on August 24 and the end of the academic year on April 30, 2021.

In a press statement, DepEd said the deferment of classes would allow the department to “fill in the remaining gaps of the school opening” that it is currently addressing.

“We trust that this is the final adjustment of the school opening,” it said.

The DepEd has expressed readiness to implement blended learning, which is a combination of online distance learning and in-person delivery of education materials to the homes of learners, due to the pandemic.

Duterte has repeatedly said he would only permit face-to-face classes once a Covid-19 vaccine is developed. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos /PNA –