Opening of classes on August 24, “Fixed and final” according to DepEd secretary

DepEd eyes August 24 as the final date for the opening of classes in the Philippines.

Opening of classes by August this year

According to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, the decision of the education committee regarding the opening of classes in the country is backed by a survey conducted with at least 700,000 respondents. It was a consensus among the respondents that classes will set to resume in between the regular time frame of June to August, as stated in the Philippine bylaws.

Briones also noted that opening of classes doesn’t automatically mean that it will be full-blown physical classes, they are considering distance learning and take-home activities as an alternative while physical classes are not allowed due to the COVID-19 situation. Since the President announced the COVID-19 lockdown last March 10, classes all around the Philippines were suspended and were not allowed to finish up the remaining school days of the academic year.

The school year 2019-2020 is set to end on April 30, 2020.

Physical classes will depend on location

Distance learning is the ideal platform that the DepEd committee is eyeing for as the opening of classes is set to resume by August 24. But, concerns over gadget and internet accessibility will be a big obstacle that the department is looking into.  Offline learning such as take-home activities and a printed module will be a viable option given the difficulties of going fully online. The committee will also consider doing minimal physical classes in areas where community quarantines are not that strict.

The DepEd will always consult and abide by the regulations and advisory from the Inter-Agency Task Force. The department can never bypass the recommendation that the IATF will impose, especially when physical activities are involved.

In addition, Briones reminds teachers to report by June 1 in order to prepare for the next school term. With a lot of change in hand, teachers must report as early as June to get themselves familiarized with the alternative learning methods the department might want to impose for the school year 2020-2021.